Innovations in Biotechnology and Medical Sciences

Community Cord Blood Banking


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Cord Blood Banking

Mains level: Stem Cells Therapy

Community Cord Blood Banking, a stem cell banking initiative, has recently helped save the life of a girl child making it India’s first dual cord blood transplant through an unrelated donor.

Must read:

What is Cord Blood Banking?

  • Community Banking is a new sharing economy model of stem cell banking that was pioneered by LifeCell in India.
  • Parents who choose to store their child’s cord blood in a community bank will have access, in the event of medical need, to all of the other cord blood units in the bank.
  • A community bank is like a public cord blood bank in that the members are supporting each other, but it is also like a private bank because the members pay for this service and outsiders cannot participate.
  • It can fill an unmet health need in a country like India, where there is no national network of public banks and the population has unique genetics that are not covered by banks elsewhere in the world.
  • It is different from “hybrid” banking where both public and family banks share a laboratory, because in hybrid banks the pubic and family sides operate separately.
  • In a community bank the public and family functions are blended.

Benefits of cord blood

  • It gives protection to a baby against all conditions treatable using stem cells (own & donor).
  • It gives protection to the baby’s siblings, parents and grandparents (maternal & paternal) by providing unrelated donor stem cells.

Back2Basics: Stem Cell Therapy

  • It is a type of treatment option that uses a patient’s own stem cells to repair damaged tissue and repair injuries.
  • It is used to treat more than 80 disorders including neuromuscular and degenerative disorders. Eg. Bone-marrow transplant is used in Leukemia (blood cancer), sickle-cell anemia, immunodeficiency disorders.
  • Stem cells are usually taken from one of the two areas in the patient’s body: bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue in their upper thigh/abdomen.
  • Because it is common to remove stem cells from areas of stored body fat, some refer to stem cell therapy as “Adipose Stem Cell Therapy” in some cases.

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