Processing of Human Cord Blood by Three Different Procedures for Red Blood Cell Depletion and Mononuclear Cell Recovery


Paolo Perutelli, PhD, Hematology Laboratory, Hematolgy and Oncology Department, G. Gaslini Children's Hospital, Largo G. Gaslini 5, I-16147 Genova (Italy), Tel. +39 10 5636277, Fax +39 10 3776590


Background and Objectives: Human cord blood (CB) is an important source of stem cells which may be used for hematopoietic reconstitution as an alternative to bone marrow transplantation. Banking of CB would be accomplished by removing red blood cells (RBC) and plasma from CB collections. Our aim was to compare three different procedures for CB processing. Materials and Methods: Poligeline, hydroxyethyl starch gel (HES) and gelatin were used as separation media in processing 79 CB units for RBC depletion and mononuclear cell (MNC) recovery. Results: The best MNC recoveries were obtained performing the HES- and the gelatin-based procedures (80.9 and 84.7%, respectively), but the gelatin procedure allowed us to obtain the highest RBC depletion (96.4%); CD34+ cell recovery was higher using HES or gelatin as separation media (85.6 and 85.9%, respectively). Conclusion: The best results, as far as RBC removal and MNC recovery are concerned, were obtained by using gelatin as RBC sedimentation medium. Gelatin is a low-cost, animal-derived reagent, which has been successfully used for CB transplantation; the procedure is simple to perform and appears to be suitable for large-scale banking in view of CB transplantation.