Cryopreservation is the technique of freezing cells without damaging them and storing them frozen at minus195oC. Cells thus frozen can be preserved for long periods of time, and when properly thawed can be used for various types of stem cell transplantation, including autotransplantation and cord blood transplantation.
Autotransplantation is often used with patients with solid tumors whose bone marrow stem cells may be damaged during the radiation therapy used to treat their solid tumors. In these cases, patients’ won stem cells are harvested and cryopreserved prior to their radiation, and re-infused back to them after the completion of their radiation.
Cord Blood Banking is when hematopoietic stem cells are collected from the cord blood during birth of a baby, and cryopreserved at minus 195oC. These cells can then be used later on should the child develop a disease requiring bone marrow/stem cell transplantation. ABMDR has started to offer private cord blood banking in Armenia, and hopes to expand to public cord blood banking in the near future.