Cryopreservation of Umbilical Cord Tissue for Stem Cell Harvesting
Buchwald, Steven; Chiu, Nicole; Chu, Melvin; Kim, Hesed; Yeang, Calvin
Stem cell transplantation has become an important process used to treat patients with bone marrow diseases. When implanted into patients, stem cells from the umbilical cord have been found to successfully proliferate as new neurons and glia, thereby improving the patients? health. Neurons and glia are imperative for the health and normal function of our nervous system. Neurons are electrically active cells that can produce action potentials to transmit signals based on electrochemical impulses. Glia, which comprise a large part of our nervous systems (90% of the brain alone), were once dismissed as mere padding in the nervous system. However, it is now known that they are actually an integral component of the system, serving to facilitate and ensure the proper transmission of signals between neurons. Damage to or loss of neural cells, whether due to physical injury, removal (as in the case of cancer) or diseases such as Motor Neuron Disease (MND) and Parkinson?s disease is severely detrimental to one?s health. Using current tissue engineering technology, stem cells harvested from the matrix of the umbilical cord (known as Wharton?s Jelly), may be differentiated into neurons or glia, effectively replacing those that were lost or damaged. To ensure biocompatibility, umbilical cord matrix cells from direct relatives are used. Therefore, cryopreservation of these cells is imperative to the stem cell treatment to be used in the future. Our goal is to use FIDAP and GAMBIT software solutions and mesh to compare the effectiveness of glycerol, propylene glycol, and DMSO, three commonly used cryopreservatives, in order to determine the cryopreservation agent that will maximize viability of umbilical cord stem cells.
cryopreservation; umbilical cord