So how long can you store cord blood?
That is a question we frequently get asked and it is a great question! If an expectant parent is considering banking their child’s cord blood then they should feel confident that if, and when, they need to use that cord blood, it will be a healthy and useful sample.
Theoretically, cryogenic scientists have estimated that living cells stored in liquid nitrogen could survive for centuries. Obviously, however, this has not yet been tested with real cells!
In terms of real data demonstrating the stability of cryopreserved cord blood, cord blood banks have relied on studies conducted by Hal E. Broxmeyer, Distinguished Professor and Mary Margaret Walther, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Hal is recognized internationally as a founder of the field of umbilical cord blood stem cell transplantation. His lab conducted the initial studies that suggested the feasibility of using cord blood as a source of transplantable hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and he played a pivotal role in the planning and coordination of the first successful cord blood transplant performed in 1988. As such, Hal’s lab has the greatest experience with long term storage of cord blood. In 2003, his lab published data demonstrating the efficient recovery of cord blood hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells after 15 years of storage. More recently, he has referenced work demonstrating the efficient recovery of these cells from cord blood after 24 years of storage (see www.stembook.org).At Insception Lifebank, we have demonstrated efficient cell recoveries from cord blood samples that were banked in 1998. In fact, 2 samples banked in 1998 were used in a diabetes clinical trial in 2009, demonstrating these samples remained robust after 11 years of storage.
As part of our quality program, we continue to monitor cell recoveries from samples that have been stored over the long term, to provide confidence to our clients that their child’s cord blood unit is safe with us!