Frequently Asked Questions

Stem Cell Science

The blood and tissue in the placenta and umbilical cord contain millions of stem cells that are the building blocks of our bodies. They can assist in healing, recovery, and treatments to help restore the body and enhance lives. They have the potential to help treat many medical conditions, such as cardiovascular diagnoses, stroke, autism, and multiple sclerosis.

There are currently 80+ diseases being treated with stem cells from the blood in the placenta and umbilical cord as an FDA-approved standard of care. Ongoing clinical trials are studying additional applications for stem cells from cord blood and birth tissue. As more research and clinical studies are completed there will be many more ways these newborn stem cells are used.

Cord blood is the stem cell rich blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta immediately after the baby is born. Stems cells found in cord blood are hematopoietic, meaning they mature into blood cells. They are the source of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and are the foundation of our immune system. Although routinely discarded, cord blood provides millions of life-saving stem cells that can only be saved at birth.

Cord tissue refers to the umbilical cord itself. It is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), which are different from the stem cells in cord blood. These MSCs are being researched extensively in the area of regenerative medicine. Most cord blood banks that offer cord tissue “storage” are just storing pieces of tissue without isolating the stem cells it contains. CellSure has a unique processing technique that makes it possible to capture stem cells from the tissue for future treatment options.

Unlike the umbilical cord, the placenta is a shared organ containing both maternal and fetal stem cells. Only the stem cells on the fetal side are used in regenerative medicine. The placenta can be collected and stored at birth. A few other companies are just storing small pieces of the placenta tissue. CellSure has a unique processing technique that makes it possible to capture stem cells from the placenta tissue. This provides a combination of stem cell types for future treatment options.

Your baby’s newborn stem cells are a perfect match for that child and compatible with immediate family members. When privately banked, newborn stem cells are quickly accessible by your family, an important consideration when time is of the essence.

Enrollment

Donating your child’s birth tissue stem cells is an incredible way to give a life changing gift to others. There are three potential applications for donated tissues:

  1. Placed into a biorepository in case they are needed for a patient in the future.
  2. Used by scientists for research and development of new treatment options.
  3. Distributed to medical companies for current cell & tissue therapies for treatment.
Donation will only take minutes following delivery and is completely safe and pain free for both mother and child.

Please let us know as early as possible. It is best to make this decision before the 30th week of your pregnancy because more than half of all babies are delivered early. However, CellSure can accommodate if other arrangements need to be made by calling client services @ 866-646-6171.

Prior to your baby’s delivery, you can change your mind from donating to storing by calling client services @ 866-646-6171 and someone will be happy to assist you.

Prior to your baby’s delivery, you can change your mind from storing to donating by calling client services @ 866-646-6171 and someone will be happy to assist you.

After delivery and your baby’s stem cells are in storage, you can change your mind at any time to release your child’s stored stem cells to donation. Simply contact client services @ 866-646-6171. A release form will be sent to you and only upon receiving the completed form with proof of ID will your storage be released, and your account terminated. CellSure does not charge a processing or handling fee to do so. However, you will not be reimbursed for any paid annual fees.

Yes. Delayed cord clamping will not impact the ability to collect stem cells from the placenta and umbilical cord.

With CellSure every mother is a donor. Even when you privately store your placenta the cord is donated. A screening process is in place to ensure all birth tissue meets medical criteria for donation. Just like blood donations, your tissue donation must be screened and tested to ensure that it is safe to use for yourself and others. The screening process is conducted using our on-line enrollment questionnaire. The questionnaire includes questions about your health and social history that are required by the regulatory authorities AABB, AATB, and the FDA. Once you successfully complete the questionnaire and answer any follow-up questions from our staff, you have completed the initial step to qualifying.

CellSure takes your confidentiality seriously. We are HIPAA compliant and use ID numbers to identify your birth tissue if you choose to store or donate. Because of the sensitive nature of families’ medical information, all CellSure employees sign confidentiality agreements. The collection and use of your personal information are governed by our privacy policy, which is available here: Privacy Policy.

Yes. Collection of your placenta and umbilical cord is a safe, easy, and painless process for both the mother and baby.

Steps to take at Birth

Your baby i s not involved in the collection process. The collection takes place after the baby is born. It is painless for both the mother and the baby and takes just a few minutes. The time it takes to collect the tissue is not much longer than the time it would take to discard the tissue under standard hospital protocols.

First, you need to fully complete the initial qualification process by going through our online enrollment. Once enrollment has been completed, a CellSure collection kit will be shipped to you typically 60-days prior to your due date with all the collection supplies and information needed for your healthcare provider. Second, inform your healthcare provider of your decision to store/donate your baby’s birth tissue stem cells prior to delivery.

The CellSure collection kit includes step-by-step instructions for your healthcare provider to follow for collection, maternal blood samples, packing, paperwork, and kit pickup. All the necessary supplies are provided in the kit by CellSure. If at any time you, your healthcare provider, or hospital staff have any questions, CellSure client services is here to assist @ 866-646-6171.

It is important you understand that this is your choice. Not all healthcare providers have an understanding of the benefits of stem cells. In turn, not all healthcare providers have been educated on the process for collection. CellSure has made the collection process as simple as possible so it will not take away from the birthing experience or your provider’s attention or time. Every kit has step-by-step instruction sheets on collection as well as packing and kit pickup. If at any time your healthcare provider or their staff have any questions CellSure client services is here to assist @ 866-646-6171.

Yes. Birth tissue collection is a very simple procedure. Easy to follow instructions are included in your collection kit. If your healthcare provider has any collection questions, CellSure provides specialized personnel that are available 24/7 to answer healthcare provider questions.

After your healthcare provider collects and packs the tissue, activates the kit’s cooling system, and seals the kit, it is ready to travel to the lab via a medical courier service. Each kit contains specific instructions about the collection process and how to prepare the samples for transport. Either you or family member/hospital staff calls 866-646-6171, and selects the pickup option to arrange bedside pickup. Once processed at the lab, you will receive notification from CellSure.

Some providers will charge a fee for the collection, but it is at their discretion. You should discuss this matter with your provider prior to delivery. The kit from CellSure contains everything your healthcare provider will need to collect your baby’s birth tissue. CellSure also provides supplies to draw maternal blood samples for testing. Return transport is covered by CellSure.

Yes, if you choose to store there is a $25 shipping fee to receive your kit. If you choose to donate there is no charge for the kit. Return transport is free.

No, unlike other companies, CellSure does not charge a processing fee, just your annual storage fee.

If you have the opportunity, yes. Children are genetically unique and so are their stem cells. Saving stem cells for each child ensures an exact genetic match is available for that child if the need should arise. In addition, it increases the chances of a useful match for other family members.

Steps taken at the Laboratory

Your kit is designed to maintain a safe shipping temperature for 48 hours once it is activated. The cells in the tissue are processed and cryogenically preserved as soon as possible to insure the best cell viability. That is why it is very important to contact client services as soon as possible after collection to arrange pick-up.

Yes, various tests will be run on your baby's birth tissue to ensure that only samples which are viable and safe to use are put into storage.

Once your baby’s birth tissue arrives at the laboratory and initial testing is completed, you will receive an email notification. You will receive another email notification several weeks later when the cells have cleared all testing and go into long-term storage.

Your child’s stem cells will be cryopreserved at approximately -196°C in our FDA registered storage facility. Samples that are 25 years old have been successfully transplanted. It is believed that the samples can remain indefinitely in the cryogenic state without losing viability. Your stem cells will be stored as long as you choose to continue storing them.

The CellSure storage facility has full backup systems in case of a utility failure. The temperature and the liquid nitrogen level of the tanks are monitored both electronically and manually. In case of a temporary power outage, generators will turn on. If ever needed, our CellSure tanks are transportable, and we can safely and easily move them to a new location.

Withdrawal for Therapy

Blood stem cells from birth tissues can be used by your child, as well as first- and second-degree relatives without matching.

  • A first-degree relative is defined as your baby’s close blood relatives (parents, full siblings, or future children)
  • A second-degree relative is defined as your baby’s grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces or half-siblings and double cousins

Should the need arise, contact client services 866-646-6171. We will send release forms to both you and the licensed physician that you have chosen to receive the stem cells. Once CellSure receives all completed forms, please allow 10 business days for processing. CellSure will work with your physician to arrange release and shipping to a medical clinic or hospital within the United States. CellSure will not be responsible for any testing that the requesting physician may require.

CellSure does not charge a withdrawal fee. However, you will be responsible for shipping charges to send living stem cells to the treatment clinic via cryogenic courier. These charges must be collected prior to shipping. Stem cells remaining in storage will be charged at the standard yearly fee.

Managing my Account

A notification will be sent to remind you that your annual storage fee is coming due and that your payment will be charged. If at any time you need to update your payment information, please log into your CellSure account using your email and the password you created at time of enrollment and navigate to the “billing” tab or call client services for assistance @ 866-646-6171.

Simply log into your CellSure account using your email and the password you created at the time of enrollment. You will be able to manage your account in several ways, update personal information, update payment information, and apply for another donation or storage.

Your annual storage fee is due on your enrollment anniversary. Notification will be sent to you as a reminder prior to charging your form of payment on file. If at any time you need to update your payment information, please go to “update personal information” link or call client services for assistance @ 866-646-6171.

You may cancel your account any time by contacting CellSure. CellSure will send you a release form to fill out and you will need to provide proof of your identity. Your account needs to be in good standing before cancelling. CellSure will not refund the annual storage fees.

Learn more about CellSure

CellSure is a fully integrated public and private bank. Private banks store stem cells for family use and public banks collect donations for patients who might need them.

CellSure is a low-profit limited liability company – or L3C – which is a special designation for companies that place a higher priority on achieving a social mission than on making profits. This provides you the confidence to know we put the wellbeing of people before profit.