Umbilical Cord Blood Cells

  • Jennifer D. Newcomb
  • Alison E. Willing
  • Paul R. Sanberg
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 549)


The umbilical cord of a healthy neonate contains within it a multipotential treatment for a myriad of diseases and injuries. What was once tossed into the biohazard waste without a second thought is now known to be a goldmine of antigenically immature cells that rival the use of bone marrow for reconstitution of blood lineages. Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is emerging as an effective and feasible clinical treatment as its availability increases and benefits are realized. Basic science research has demonstrated a broad therapeutic capacity ranging from cell replacement to cell protection and anti-inflammation in a number of animal disease and injury models. UCB is easily obtained with no harm to infant or mother and can be stored at cryogenic temperatures with relatively little loss of cells upon thaw. The heterogeneous mononuclear fraction has been identified and characterized and transplanted both locally and systemically to treat animal models of stroke, myocardial infarction, Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis, San Filippo, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and age-related neurodegeneration, among others. In the pages to follow, we share protocols for the identification and research use of the mononuclear cell fraction of UCB.

Key words

Umbilical cord blood Hematopoietic progenitor cell Mononuclear cell isolation Immunocytochemistry Flow cytometry UCB transplantation 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Svitlana Garbuzova-Davis, Dr. Ning Chen, Dr. Mary Newman, Dr. Nicole Kuzmin-Nichols, and Dr. Martina Vendrame for contributing their protocols. Many of the UCB MNCs used in the above protocols were obtained from Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, Inc. PRS is a cofounder and AEW is a consultant to Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, Inc.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer D. Newcomb
    • 1
  • Alison E. Willing
    • 1
  • Paul R. Sanberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery, Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain RepairUniversity of South Florida College of MedicineTampaUSA

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