• Jan Shultis

Snowstorms & Stem Cells: Solving for the Worst Possible Combination

Updated: Mar 25

The labs at Hope Biosciences opened in 2017. Since then we have been through many extreme events, including prolonged incidents such as Hurricane Harvey, COVID-19, and this week’s Arctic blast.

With all the things that events like these bring to worry about, we want to take a few minutes to explain why you don’t have to worry about your banked stem cells at Hope Biosciences.

The most important thing to know is our philosophy. Hope Biosciences is a human-focused company, which means we use real people, not equipment or systems, to ensure the security of your cells. We have critical staff members who live within walking distance of the lab. While this level of dedication may sound extreme, it is a common value on the Hope team. We care for your cells by hand, period, no exceptions (in case you missed it, click here or here for more articles about how personally we take cell care).

At Hope Biosciences, your stem cells are cared for by hand.

Hope’s commitment to human care is backed by our technology. Your cells are stored in liquid nitrogen, which means that we do not need electricity to keep them happy, healthy, and SUPER frozen, ready for you whenever you need them! Fast fact: a medical-grade deep freezer is only capable of cooling a substance to -130 F (-90 C), but that liquid nitrogen can go as low as -320 F (-196 C). Why does this matter? Choosing liquid nitrogen instead of a deep freezer, like some companies do, is part of what helps us achieve an unprecedented five-day viability window for our cells. Other companies take frozen cells, defrost them, and give them to patients without any testing or confirmation of what the cells are doing — are they even viable; are there any live cells in there?! No one knows, including the patient. At Hope Biosciences we super freeze your cells, warm them, grow them while testing continuously (again, testing by hand!), THEN provide them. We know exactly what our cells are doing, and that five-day window also means we can ship them! We’ll talk more about this and why it matters in upcoming blogs.

Welcome to Hope Biosciences!

Finally, our people and our technology are supported by our infrastructure. Our building was very carefully selected. We know that Houston is prone to flooding, so we chose a location out of a flood area, and a building with multiple stories — we have never needed to, even in Hurricane Harvey, but we do have the option of simply taking the cell banks upstairs to higher ground. As previously shared, your cells are stored in liquid nitrogen, and we keep lots of extra on hand. While we do use electronic monitors during normal operations to check nitrogen markers, our team happily switches to manual monitoring when needed. Finally, as we look toward the future, we imagine an operation that stores all banked cells in two locations widely dispersed, for an even higher level of protection.

The bottom line? At Hope Biosciences your cells are banked with the special kind of hope that comes from safety and security. Real people, real cells, real love. Call us at (832) 975–8840 to experience it for yourself — we are always happy to talk about you, your family, and your stem cells.