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Cryobiology. 2014 Jun;68(3):467-72. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2014.03.010. Epub 2014 Apr 4.

A simple and serum-free protocol for cryopreservation of human umbilical cord as source of Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells.

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Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, India.
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, India. Electronic address:


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) show promise in cell-based transplantations and regenerative medicine applications. MSCs from Wharton's jelly (WJ) of umbilical cord can be easily harvested and exhibit greater proliferative activity than bone marrow MSCs. It is important to develop a practical cryopreservation technique to effectively store umbilical cord for potential future applications. Successful cryopreservation would allow access to umbilical cord from the same donor for repeated WJ MSC-based transplantations. For therapeutic applications, one should be able to obtain clinically-relevant quality and quantity of MSCs from cryopreserved tissues. In this study, we optimised a serum-free formulation of 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and 0.2M sucrose for cryopreservation of umbilical cord tissue. Slow freezing and rapid thawing were adopted. MSCs harvested from WJ of cryopreserved umbilical cord could undergo robust expansion, differentiate to mesodermal lineages and express MSC-characteristic surface antigens. The cumulative cell yield, however, was less compared to corresponding fresh cord tissue.


Cryopreservation; Mesenchymal stem cells; Serum-free; Umbilical cord; Wharton’s jelly

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