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Cryobiology. 2008 Apr;56(2):152-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2008.02.002. Epub 2008 Feb 13.

Influence of volume reduction and cryopreservation methodologies on quality of thawed umbilical cord blood units for transplantation.

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  • 1Umbilical Cord Blood Bank, Valencia Transfusion Centre, Avda del Cid, 65-A, 46014 Valencia, Spain.



Although there is considerable variability in methodology among umbilical cord blood banks, their common goal is to achieve optimal product quality for transplantation. Cryopreservation is a critical issue for a long-term maintenance of cord blood viability and colony-forming capacities.


We designed a prospective study to compare controlled (CRF) vs. non-controlled freezing (URF) of volume-reduced cord blood units. In addition, the influence of hydroxy ethyl starch (HES) on cryopreservation was also assayed. To assess the efficiency of protocols used, cell recoveries were measured and the presence of hematopoietic colony-forming units was quantified.


In the study phase, we observed similar CB haematopoietc recoveries for CRF and URF strategies, except for TNC recovery that was better for HES volume reduced CB units in the URF group. When we analysed the data of routine processed CB units in samples from satellite cryovials, we found better BFU-E, CFU-GM, CFU-GEMM and CFU recoveries for those units processed with HES than without HES, in an URF manner.


URF of CB units is a cryopreservation procedure that allows similar hematopoietic progenitor recoveries than CRF with programmed devices. However, our study suggests that those banks that cryopreserve CB units in a URF manner should use HES for volume reduction. On the other hand, for CRF cryopreservation methodology volume reduction with and without HES are equally useful.

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