What are stem cells?
The body and its organs are composed of cells. All these cells are derived from adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are the basic cells of our body. Not only are stem cell pre-birth responsible for the creation of the baby but after birth they are continuously updating, repairing and renewing your body. Skin cells for example are renewed every few weeks. Stem cells can be found in every part of your body. Not just in your skin but also in the organs, brain etc. The largest amounts of stem cells in your body are available in the bone marrow. Stem cells produce cells that start out without a specific task. Depending on the need of your body these "undifferentiated" cells are able to grow into (e.g, cartilage, blood, muscle, skin, endocrine tissue, etc.). This depends on the environment where they are inserted and/or based on the requests of your body through receptors.
There are different types of stem cells. The cells that are available in your body are Adult stem cells
Stem cells from umbilical cord blood. An additional amount of the original stem cells used for the construction of the newly born child is still in the umbilical cord. Stem cells from the umbilical cord blood are therefore the most original stem cells available. These stem cells are also ADULT stem cells. When stored these stem cells are a 100% match for the body of your child and they remain pristine while in storage.
Embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are extracted from unborn embryos or fetuses. The use and even the research of Embryonic stem cells in controversial due to the origin of the cells.
Currently, there is a lot of research worldwide into the applicability of adult stem cells and it seems most of the medical uses for treatments of any kind will derive from adult stem cells.
The current potential of stem cells seems limitless. You cannot turn on your TV, do not open a newspaper or magazine or there is sometimes reported about stem cells. The medical world sees, therefore, the use of stem cells as a revolution in medicine which can be compared with the invention of antibiotics.
As we grow older, the amount of stem cells in our body's drops and the quality of the stem cells very slowly deteriorates. At puberty we have the lowest count of stem cells available, as the body uses them than for building and growth. Knowing the capability of stem cells it is a unique chance to store an additional amount of these cells that are otherwise discarded. The umbilical cord and placenta hold a reserve amount of sometime several millions of stem cells. When stored these original cells can be used at a later date. In your body stem cells are subject to the use of medication, life style and aging. Stem cells collected from the placenta and stored in the special storage containers will remain untouched and are the most original cells with a 100% match to the body of your child. It is very easy to collect these cells with our collection kit without any risk for mother or child. Knowing the potential of stem cells collection and storage is the best option to choose. Our foundation made collecting, processing and storage affordable for most parents.
Additional donation of stem cells for research:
Our foundation STEM CELL BANK NETHERLANDS is very much aware that research is important to find therapeutic applications of stem cells, therefore, there we have the option available to you to promote research by donating a part of the stem cells we collect for you to academic research centers. It is only when you give your 'informed consent' that we, if the material we receive is sufficient, donate some of the material in your name. Ask for our special form.
STEM CELL BANK NETHERLANDS regularly consults with various professors and specialists in the field of stem cell technology in the Netherlands and abroad Prof. Dr. P.A.F.M. Doevendans, professor of cardiology at UMC Utrecht, Prof. Dr. W.E.Fibbe, professor of hematology at the LUMC and head of public stem cell bank are pioneers in the field of research and stem cells.