Cord Blood Cryopreservation

After the cord blood has been processed, concentrated white blood cells are transferred to a freezing bag and cryo-protectant will be added to protect the cells during the cryopreservation process. The freezing bag is placed in a protected aluminum cassette case with a holding rack into the Control Rate Freezer where the processed cord blood unit is gradually frozen. The gradual freezing is to protect the integrity of the stem cells and to prevent it from damage.

When the cord blood unit (CBU) has reached the optimum temperature of below -140°C, it will be transferred to a cryopreservation storage tank in vapour phase liquid nitrogen where the CBU will be quarantined for one year. During this quarantine period, a Nurse Coordinator will follow-up with the mother about the baby and the family to ensure that the medical condition has not changed. During the same period, the maternal infectious disease results, the cord blood’s haematological tests and other test results will be returned to the cord blood bank. If there are any results that fall in SCBB’s exclusion criteria, the CBU will be discarded or its status is re-assigned either for Quality Assurance or Research.

If the CBU meets all the banking criteria after the quarantine period, the CBU will be transferred to a long-term storage cryopreservation tank where the temperature is constantly maintained at less than -150°C and continuously monitored via an alarm system. This assures that the CBUs in SCBB are closely monitored and are in compliance with international regulations and quality standards.

Cryopreservation of a CBU
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A final 25ml white blood cell concentrate processed CBU. A processed CBU placed in a control rate freezer. When the optimum temperature for cryopreservation is reached the CBU will be transferred to a cryopreservation tank for storage. The frozen CBU will only be identified and removed from the cryopreservation tank upon a request for a matched CBU from a Transplant Centre.