Updated: Oct 19, 2022
Originally published April 8, 2021 • 4 min read
And is it worth it?
In many of our blog posts, we’ve highlighted stories of our banker’s progress after receiving stem cell treatment through the Hope Bioscience’s Stem Cell Research Foundation. Their stories are inspiring and full of promise, but you may now be wondering—what exactly is banking, and is it right for me?
When one thinks of “banking,” they most often think of a method used for saving and storing money. And while banking money is critical to securing your future financial health, there is another type of banking that can prove critical in securing your future physical health. I’m talking about stem cell banking. It is within the subzero temperatures of Hope Bioscience’s cryogenic tanks that these life-saving deposits can be found.
There are two types of stem cells that can be banked for future use: hematopoietic and mesenchymal. The type that is eventually isolated and preserved depends on the tissue source. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are isolated from bone marrow for adults and from cord blood for newborns. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are isolated from fat tissue for adults, and from the placenta’s amniotic membrane for newborns. HSCs and MSCs perform entirely different functions in the body, which I will cover in my next post.
If you have considered stem cell banking, it is important to know that not all stem cells are created equal. Why not? Because how your stem cells are preserved, nourished, and grown influences whether you will be able to use them, when you need them. At Hope Biosciences we employ a series of patented processes to offer what we believe is the best solution for safe, secure stem cell banking on the market.
It is also important to know that cord blood banking is not an equivalent service to stem cell banking — cord blood banking is not a reliable way to preserve your baby’s stem cells. Cord blood banking is the preservation of a concentrated cell mixture following the removal of most red blood cells and plasma from the blood; HSCs make up a very small percentage of the cell mixture that is preserved. Cord tissue banking preserves the actual tissue itself, with the idea that one day it can be thawed, and the MSCs could then be isolated and expanded. Unfortunately, with this type of service, there is no guarantee that a suitable number of viable, high potency stem cells can be recovered at the eventual time of tissue thawing, and the process of obtaining enough stem cells needed for a therapeutic dose would take weeks, possibly even months.
Hope Biosciences stem cell banking involves isolating only the MSCs from a particular tissue source, culturing those cells to larger quantities while maintaining the original cell characteristics, and then cryopreserving them in liquid nitrogen for lifetime storage and use in the future. The biggest advantage of pure stem cell banking over tissue banking is the immediate access it gives you to your own, high-potency stem cells as soon as you need them. The hard work of stem cell isolation is done immediately, allowing the pure, unaltered stem cells to be cryopreserved in the high quantities needed for therapy production.
When you bank with Hope Bio, your cells are grown and stored in a master cell bank. Every time your cells are needed, we simply take out one vial from the tank and grow a fresh dose. Our proprietary process allows us to generate, on average, 1,037 fresh doses, which is exponentially more than any individual can be projected to use in a lifetime. Watch this video to hear directly from our CEO, Donna Chang, about the Hope difference.
Regardless of the type of banking used, the reason behind it remains the same: to have access to your own stem cells for future therapeutic use. We guarantee that cells banked at Hope Biosciences will amount to viable treatments in the future. The quality of a cell therapy is entirely dependent upon the quality of the banked stem cells. What do you want? What will you choose? Your cells will never be as young as they are right now.
Written by Kristian Ruiz; edited by Maegan Rysso; illustrations by Isabella Serimontrikul