Stem cells are primary cells which can be transformed into more mature cells of the organism are precursors of all human cells. The stem cells coming from placenta and umbilical cord under the right conditions can be transformed into all types of cells, such as cardiac, muscle, hepatic, haematopoietic, lung-cells type II, neural, bone cells, chondrocytes, lipoid cells and cells of pancreas islets. They are used for the therapy of the haematopoietic and immune system diseases as well as for clinical studies for the regeneration of the cardiac tissue in case of a heart infraction, brain and bone marrow injuries or in experimental studies for the therapy of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, and even for the therapy of diabetes.

The use the stem cells from the child can also be expanded to the parents, siblings, as long as the tissue compatibility has been confirmed. They have been used successfully in the regeneration of myocardial after cardiac infarction, the neural system after injury, the therapy of autoimmune diseases and leukaemia. They are suitable for the child as well as for the family.

No, the possibility of a public bank to collect the samples that are required is not confined to the denial of the parents to donate a material that would otherwise end up in the garbage, but from the lack of the required funding and organization.  In order to cover the needs a public bank, a collection of 10% of the yearly births is required. A large part of the umbilical cord blood, in spite of the information that the parents have, continues to end up in the waste materials of the hospital. The private banks could easily and with a smaller cost contribute to the growth of the grafts that are available for the public use through an organized program of donation. The parents must be aware and give special attention in cases, when somebody with the excuse of the “public” bank, propose to pay relative large amounts in order to store a part of the material and donate the rest.

The blood of the umbilical cord that is stored in a family bank is the property of the child and only he/she in the future may use it as his/her will or even donate it


Yes, stem cells can proliferate in cellular cultures. The blood of the umbilical cord has at least two populations of stem cells:  Hematopoietic stem cells and pluripotent cells, that can be transformed into osteosytes, chondrocytes, muscle cells, neural cells, hepatocytes or pancreatic cells. The hematopoietic stem cells comprise the most mature population and have the limit of three cellular divisions, before apoptosis. The rest of the population is presented more immature and can be divided up to 40 times without cell atypias or differentiation. For all the above reasons hematopoietic stem cells proliferation is not used today for raising the number of hematopoietic stem cells, very  useful to treat leukemias in cases of low number of cells and increased weight of the patient. The cell proliferation can be applied to the immature population of cells, (pluripotent) either to rises the number of cells or to differentiate in other cell types, useful in the regenerative medicine.

Biohellenika applies a special method to the placenta that aims to the collection of the largest possible number of stem cells with a natural way, without the necessary use of cell proliferation. This method is published  in the Transplantation Proceedings Journal, Tsagias et al 2007 and is referred to the collection of the remained stem cells in the placenta’s extended network of vessels that can not are extracted with the classical initial selection. Sometimes the number of the collected cells finally, is double.

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