in cord blood processing
TotiCyte has transformed cell retention both during processing and cryopreservation and is exclusive to Cells4Life.
The highest performing cord blood processing system in the world, TotiCyte delivers 100% – 400% more stem cells than any other method that we have tested at the point of treatment.
Highest cell recovery
TotiCyte delivers up to 5X more viable cells
More cell types
TotiCyte delivers more types of cells
99% red cell removal
TotiCyte removes more red blood cells
No one knows if and when your baby’s cord blood stem cells will be needed. Whether it is for a lifesaving therapy or simply to ease the ageing process, over the course of a lifetime, there may be numerous occasions when they are called upon.
Two key factors influence stem cell therapy, the availability of the right number of viable cells and the right type of cell.
Cord blood stem cells are probably the most powerful we will ever have, but the number that can be harvested from the umbilical cord is limited by the amount of blood available.
This is why it is crucial that processing retains as many of your baby’s precious stem cells as possible.
Number of cells matters
TotiCyte delivers more cells at the point of therapy
TotiCyte has been developed to maximise cell count both pre-freeze, and especially post-thaw. It provides 2 – 5 times more cells at the point of treatment than any other method that we have tested, including all systems currently used in the UK. Critically, using TotiCyte means that your baby’s sample will be useful throughout their whole life, not just in childhood, and could even be used for multiple therapies.
Your child may be part of the first generation to live to over 100 years of age.
Multiple treatments – your child may be part of the first generation to live to more than 100. Who knows how many times regenerative medicine therapies will be called upon? Each therapy may need to use some or all your baby’s stem cells. Clearly, the more cells stored, the more treatments that can be done. Additionally, with the anticipated development of cell expansion technologies, it will be crucial to have multiple samples available for individual use.
Therapies and body weight – for many therapies, the number of cells required is linked to body weight – as your child grows into an adult, they will need more stem cells for the same treatment.
Post-processing viable cell recovery
Post-thaw viable cell recovery
What does cell recovery mean?
You may see several different types of cell recovery definition used:
Post-processing recovery – the number of viable cells that are found after the cord has been processed but before it has been cryopreserved.
Post-thaw recovery – the number of viable cells found after the cord blood has been thawed and is ready for therapy. Key point: it is only the number of viable cells at the point of therapy that actually matters, dead cells are not useful in regenerative medicine.
Blood type compatibility
If your baby’s cord blood stem cells are used for themselves, they will be a perfect match both at a cellular level and in terms of blood type. However, if they are going to be used to treat another family member, they will have to be checked for compatibility.
Even for a sibling, where there is a 75% chance of being compatible at a cellular level, it is still possible that their blood types may not match. In this case, the sample will need to be ‘washed’ before treatment to remove the red cells to below 5% of the volume. This is to reduce the risk of a potentially life-threatening transfusion reaction. The downside of the washing process is that many stem cells are also flushed away, potentially reducing the chance of a successful engraftment and size of person that the sample can treat.
TotiCyte improves blood type compatibility
TotiCyte removes 99% of the red cells in cord blood, meaning that it is ready for treatment, no matter the blood type of the patient, and may mean no requirement for washing. This is another way in which TotiCyte delivers the maximum number of stem cells at the point of therapy.
More cell types
Unlike other volume reduction methods, TotiCyte preserves rare, primitive cells types within cord blood. These are lost when other processing technologies are used. We don’t yet know which stem cells will be most important for therapies in the future, so why risk losing any? Especially when they are the youngest and probably most powerful of all.
What is TotiCyte?
Authorised for our use by the Human Tissue Authority, TotiCyte is a precise, low concentration mixture of two solutions routinely used in blood therapy. These are DMSO and Dextran. DMSO and dextran are present in every single processed cord blood sample and have been transfused into human patients in thousands of cord blood treatments all over the world.
How does it work?
❶ TotiCyte causes the red blood cells to sediment, leaving all other cell types, including the stem cells, suspended in plasma.
❷ The plasma and stem cells are expressed into the next processing bag, leaving 99% of the red cells behind.
❸ The plasma and stem cells are gently centrifuged, which causes a layer (called the ‘buffy coat’) of stem cells to form at the bottom of the plasma.
❹ The excess plasma is removed leaving a 25ml stem cell sample, which can be divided into multiple units prior to storage.
What other techniques are used?
To maintain viability for a future therapy, all public and private cord blood banks will cryopreserve your baby’s cord blood in liquid nitrogen. This will ensure that, whether your baby’s stem cells are needed in 10, 50 or 100 years, they will remain as viable as the day they were harvested.
Processing – Red Cell Depletion
Many different technologies and techniques are used to process and prepare cord blood. The aim of all the leading techniques is to remove as many of the red cells as possible, this is called Red Cell Depletion or Volume Reduction.
Normally, the cord blood is centrifuged at high speed, which separates the blood into three components: the heavier red cells at the bottom; a very thin layer called the buffy coat which contains the stem cells and; on top, plasma, which contains various factors but no cells.
The buffy coat is then separated into a bag for cryopreservation, along with some plasma and some red cells. Whilst the red cells are not crucial in regenerative medicine, it is important to capture any stem cells that are contained at the interface between the two layers. Similarly, some of the plasma is also taken.
The next stage is two part freezing process, controlled rate freezing to -80℃ followed by placing in vapour phase liquid nitrogen at -190℃.
Immediately prior to controlled rate freezing, about 10% DMSO will be added to the cord blood to help prevent the cells bursting on freezing.
The blood will then remain cryopreserved until needed for a cellular therapy.
Limitations of the other technologies
All Volume Reduction technologies lose stem cells. Post-thaw, many, if not most, viable cells will be lost. These losses are in the range of 70% – 90% of the starting number of viable stem cells. This may limit whether a sample can be used for therapy, or how many times it may be used.
In addition, all leading Volume Reduction systems retain as much as 35% red cells. Many of which will burst on freezing resulting in cellular debris. This debris can be removed through washing but this will incur the loss of more stem cells. These red cells may also cause a transfusion reaction if the blood types are not compatible.