Stem cells have been proven to be beneficial for medical advances.  Different procedure has to be performed depending on their sources.  Human stem cells can be harvested in bone marrows, umbilical cord or the peripheral blood.


How are stem cells harvested in bone marrows?

Based on study, stem cells found in our bone marrow are 10 to 100 times more concentrated compared to the circulating or peripheral blood.  A large amount of bone marrow can be found on the human hipbone that contains a considerable amount of stem cells.  To harvest stem cells in our bone marrow, the donor has to undergo a general anaesthetic or an epidural.  The doctor will then make multiple small punctures on the skin located over the hip.  A special needle will then be inserted on the several holes straight into the pelvic bone and to the bone marrow.  After that, it is now possible for the doctor to extract a bone marrow using a syringe.  The process of extracting bone marrow and blood is continuously done until there are enough stem cells harvested.  The whole process could take up to 2 hours.  The amount of blood and bone marrow that will be harvested on a donor depends on the weight and the concentrated bone marrow present.  After extracting enough stem cells, the doctor will cover the punctures with bandages.  The collected substance will then undergo a filtering process in order to remove bone fragments and other particles such as fats.  After a few hours of recovering from the anaesthetic, the donor can now leave the hospital.  But there are some cases that the donor needs to stay in the hospital for a longer time.  Swelling and pain on the hip area of the donor can also occur for days.


How are stem cells harvested on the peripheral blood?

There is a slight difference on the process conducted for the autologous and allogenic stem cell transplant.  Autologous transplant, uses the recipients own stem cell.  Before the transplant the person may be given chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy suppresses the bone marrow from producing many blood cells from the normal.  The human body tends to respond to this process by producing stem cells.  During the extraction, a thin tube will be inserted in a large vein found in the arm of the donor.  The blood will start to travel to the thin tube that leads to a machine.  The machine will then separates the stem cells from the blood.  The whole collecting process can take up to 4 hours.  A little side effects after the procedure may include, light-headedness, numbness of muscles on our fingers and toes and chills.


How are stem cells harvested from umbilical cord?

After giving birth to a baby, blood is collected from the umbilical cord.  However, the amount of stem cells found in the umbilical cord is quite small that they can only be used for children.  A machine will also separate the stem cells from the blood.  The collected stem cells will then be frozen until such time that they will be needed