Optimising methods of red cell sedimentation from cord blood to maximise nucleated cell recovery prior to cryopreservation

M. Madkaikar, M. Gupta, Kanjaksha Ghosh*, S. Swaminathan, L. Sonawane, D. Mohanty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Human cord blood is now an established source of stem cells for haematopoietic reconstitution. Red blood cell (RBC) depletion is required to reduce the cord blood unit volume for commercial banking. Red cell sedimentation using hydroxy ethyl starch (HES) is a standard procedure in most cord blood banks. However, while standardising the procedure for cord blood banking, a significant loss of nucleated cells (NC) may be encountered during standard HES sedimentation protocols. This study compares four procedures for cord blood processing to obtain optimal yield of nucleated cells. Gelatin, dextran, 6% HES and 6% HES with an equal volume of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) were compared for RBC depletion and NC recovery. Dilution of the cord blood unit with an equal volume of PBS prior to sedimentation with HES resulted in maximum NC recovery (99% [99.5±1.3%). Although standard procedures using 6% HES are well established in Western countries, they may not be applicable in India, as a variety of factors that can affect RBC sedimentation (e.g., iron deficiency, hypoalbuminaemia, thalassaemia trait, etc.) may reduce RBC sedimentation and thus reduce NC recovery. While diluting cord blood with an equal volume of PBS is a simple method to improve the NC recovery, it does involve an additional processing step.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-159
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Biomedical Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007


  • Cord blood stem cell transplantation
  • Cryopreservation
  • Erythrocytes
  • Fetal blood
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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