Sussex firm in revolutionary method of storing stem cells taken from babies’ umbilical cords

Health news. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150730-111610001

Health news. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150730-111610001

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A firm in Burgess Hill has come up with a revolutionary way of storing stem cells collected from blood in babies’ umbilical cords.

The cells are frozen and stored, then thawed and used in a range of life-saving medical treatments including cancer, transplants, injuries and regenerative therapies.

Burgess Hill-based Cells4Lif has come up with a technology - known as TotiCyte - which they say improves pre-freeze and post-thaw cell recovery.

It means fewer stem cells will be wasted.

They say it is expected to be available to the public stem cell banking market in the next few months.

After a baby is born, the placenta and umbilical cord are usually thrown away.

However, an NHS Cord Blood Bank was set up in 1996 to collect, process, store and supply cord blood for transplants from consenting mothers.

Cells4Life says it stores more UK stem cell samples than any other private bank.