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What tests are carried out on the cord blood?

In the laboratory your baby’s cord blood is tested for bacterial contamination, total cell numbers and cellular viability. It is quite difficult to identify stem cells just by looking at them; the only proof that a cell is a stem cell is determined by how it behaves when it multiplies. Scientists have therefore developed a number of tests to determine the amount of stem cells present in a sample. The best known marker for blood-forming cells is that they test positive for CD34+, a protein found on the surface of stem cells. Cell Care uses its own state-of-the-art instrument (called a flow cytometer) for conducting these tests.

We also store vials of frozen cord blood plasma and buffy coat cells, which can later be retrieved for additional testing, for example prior to release of the sample for use.