Menstrual blood stem cell banking being launched in India
New Delhi : Menstrual blood stem cells can now be easily collected, processed and harvested in an affordable, painless and non-invasive manner.
This unique stem cell banking is being launched in India for the first time at Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu state, as LifeCell Femme menstrual blood stem cell banking service.
Until now, menstrual blood was discarded as unsanitary waste. Menstrual blood contains a large number of self-renewing stem cells that multiply rapidly and can differentiate into many other types of cells such as neural, cardiac, bone, fat, cartilage and possibly others, demonstrating great potential for cell therapy, statesman reported quoting the recent research.
Every month during a woman’s menstrual period the uterine lining, endometrium, is shed along with the extra blood and tissues. This lining of the uterus contains a large number of mesenchymal stem cells and several thousand fold high concentration of stem cell growth factors. These cells from the endometrium are unique because they have many properties and characteristics similar to both bone marrow and embryonic stem cells.
Although menstrual stem cell technology has not yet been utilised to date in human therapies, the collective body of ongoing research may potentially change the types of therapies used to diagnose or treat a host of significant medical conditions in the future affecting hundreds of millions worldwide like Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and many others.
“Stem cell technology is the future of medicine. Experiments performed at the Keio University school of medicine have succeeded in growing sheets of heart muscle from connective tissue cells harvested from menstrual blood When it comes to growing heart muscle, however, the connective tissue cells in menstrual blood have a success rate 100 times higher than the 0.2 – 0.3 percent for stem cells taken from human bone marrow,” said the chief scientific officer, LifeCell International, Dr Ajit Kumar.
Once collected the menstrual blood stem cells are dispatched to LifeCell’s state of the art laboratory facility at Chennai for processing. The stem cells are then harvested and the menstrual stem cells are frozen in liquid nitrogen storage container for cryogenic preservation at sub-zero minus 196 degrees centigrade. This procedure will enable the stem cells to retain their potency and viability for an indefinite period of time.
How to Donate Menstrual Blood for Stem Cell Research
The use of menstrual blood as a resource for stem cells has been an interesting development in the field of bioresearch. The idea of collecting stem cells has been a controversial one at times. With this new method, there is no moral dilemma for anyone involved. In the future, people will benefit from the open availability of these types of stem cells. Currently, one company has the market cornered in the collection and storage of menstrual blood for stem cells. The company is called C’Elle. Collecting and storing your menstrual blood for its stem cells is easy.
Instructions-things you’ll need:
- Collection package
Order your collection kit from C’Elle through their company website (see Resources).
Freeze the cooling packs that arrive with your C’Elle collection kit immediately upon arrival and continuously until you are ready to package your collections and send them back via FedEx.
To collect your menstrual blood, insert the provided menstrual cup in place of a tampon. This cup needs to be left in for three hours to collect your first of two specimens.
Take the menstrual cup out. It should have about a teaspoon of fluid in it. Carefully place this fluid into the provided vials of solution.
Refrigerate your first specimen while you collect your second.
Replace your menstrual cup for another three hours and repeat the collection process for your second vial. One vial will be used for storage and the other will be used for infectious disease testing.
Remove your cooling packs from the freezer; the first specimen from the refrigerator and package both specimens and the cooling packs in your original collection kit box after you have collected both specimens.
Ship your collection kit back to C’Elle using the provided airbilled FedEx box.