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Published

March 15, 2024

Updated

July 9, 2024

Stem Cell 101: What are the different types of stem cells?

πŸ’‘ Parents bank umbilical cord blood, tissue, and placenta stem cells because they can be used to replace or repair damaged cells in the case of injury or disease. "Stem cells are the body's raw materials - cells from which other cells with specialized functions are generated." Source: Mayo Clinic

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What types of stem cells are there?

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β€’ Embryonic Stem Cells (AKA Pluripotent Stem Cells)

β€’ Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

β€’ Adult Stem Cells

β€’ Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) - Found in umbilical cord blood

β€’ Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) - Found in umbilical cord tissue, the placenta, and bone marrow

β€’ Amniotic Epithelial Cells (AECs) - Found in the placenta

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How do these stem cells differ?

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Adult stem cells are tissue-specific or blood-forming, meaning they are more mature than embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells. More mature stem cells are more stable and less likely to have unwanted mutations. (Source: Nature)

Unlike adult stem cells (those found in umbilical cord blood, tissue, and the placenta), embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are so immature and unstable that they even have "the potential for increased frequency of serious cancer-causing mutations." (Source: University of Exeter)

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What can stem cells from the umbilical cord blood, tissue, and placenta do?

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Umbilical cord blood, tissue, and placenta can potentially be used for the baby themselves, but also siblings and possibly other family members.

  • 85+ diseases treated with umbilical cord blood stem cell products, including lymphomas, solid tumors, anemias, inherited red cell abnormalities, inherited immune disorders, inherited metabolic disorders, bone marrow cancers, and more (despite the common misconception that stem cells can't be used to treat inherited diseases)

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