Understanding banking terms

A glossary reference for cord blood and tissue banking
Tissue Guarantee

Terms to Know

Please use the glossary below as your point of reference when browsing the Cryosite website. If you require further clarification on any of the terms below, please contact the Cryosite team on 1800 220 410. 

Adult Stem Cells

Stem cells present in a developed individual. Cord blood stem cells are adult stem cells and are NOT embryonic stem cells, which are derived from embryos. The function of adult stem cells is to repair and maintain various types of body tissue.

Allogeneic Use

Cord blood stem cells that are collected from one child (the donor) and transfused into a different person (the recipient). Public cord blood banks collect for allogeneic use only. Prior to allogeneic use the donor and the recipient need to be tested to ensure that they have a compatible HLA match.

Autologous Use

Cord blood stem cells that are collected and then re-infused into the same person the cells were collected from.

Bone Marrow

Bone marrow is a special, spongy, fatty tissue that houses the stem cells located inside a few large bones. These stem cells transform themselves into white and red blood cells and platelets, essential for immunity and circulation. In humans, marrow in large bones produces new blood cells through a process called haematopoiesis.


CD34 molecule is a cluster of differentiation molecules present on certain cells within the human body. It is a cell surface glycoprotein and functions as a cell-cell adhesion factor. It may also mediate the attachment of stem cells to bone marrow extracellular matrix or directly to stromal cells. CD34 is also the name for the human gene that encodes the protein. The aim of CD34+ cell enumeration is to provide a measure for the number of haemopoietic stem cells present in cell preparations (e.g. bone marrow, mobilised peripheral blood, and umbilical cord blood) intended for transplantation. CD34+ cell enumeration is performed for each cord blood sample banked with Cryosite.

Cell Viability

Cell viability is a determination of living or dead cells, based on a total cell sample. CD34+ cell viability is performed for each cord blood sample banked with Cryosite.


Childbirth is not a sterile process and although the doctor takes all possible measures to minimise the risk of bacterial contamination of the cord blood unit during the collection process, a small number of cord blood samples will return a positive culture result. Bacteria can enter the cord blood collection bag on small sections of umbilical tissue that can be excised by the collection needle during the collection process.

Cord Blood

Cord blood is blood that remains in the placenta and in the attached umbilical cord after childbirth. Cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord at the time of childbirth.

Cord Blood & Biorepository Manager

The Cord Blood &Biorepository Manager is responsible for all operational aspects of all procedures related to receipt, testing, processing, cryopreservation, storage, release for shipment of cord blood units, and administrative operations of the cord blood bank, including compliance with Netcord FACT standards. The CB&BSM participates in educational activities in appropriate educational activities.


Cryopreservation refers to the storage of a living organism at ultra-low temperature such that it can be revived and restored to the same living state as before it was stored. Indefinitely long storage times require that the organism be maintained below the glass transformation temperature of aqueous solutions, approximately -130 deg C, which is the temperature at which frozen water no longer sublimes and recrystallizes.

Family Banking

‘Family Cord Blood Banking’ also called ‘directed allogeneic’ means your child’s cord blood stem cells can be used to treat both themselves and other compatible family members. Family Cord Blood Banking represents a significant new era in cord blood banking in Australia and greatly extends the potential uses for your child’s cord blood.

Graft vs host disease (GvHD)

GvHD is one of the most common and life-threatening side effects of a stem cell transplant when using stem cells from another individual or ‘donor’ to treat a patient. GvHD is the leading cause of death after transplant so it is a critical consideration. GvHD occurs when the transplanted stem cells from a donor recognise the recipient's body as foreign and attack it.

Cord blood that is banked with Cryosite for autologous use overcomes the potential for GvHD.


Granulocytes are a type of white blood cell filled with microscopic granules containing enzymes that digest microorganisms.


Haematopoiesis is the formation of the blood’s cellular components (i.e. white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets). All cellular blood components are derived from haematopoietic stem cells.

HLA match

HLA matching is the criteria used to determine donor and recipient compatibility and generally refers to six proteins called human leukocyte antigens (HLA) that appear on the surface of white blood cells and other tissues in the body. A transplant can only be performed if there is an adequate HLA match between donor and recipient. While a perfect 6/6 match provides the best clinical outcome, transfusions can take place with a 5/6 or even 4/6 HLA match. This may occur if access to publicly banked cord blood is required.

Cord blood that is banked with Cryosite for autologous use is always a perfect 6/6 match.

Human Umbilical Cord Perivascular Cells (HUCPVC’s)

HUCPVCs are MSCs that are extracted from the tissue around the blood vessels of the umbilical cord. These cells give rise to all those that differentiate into the tissues of the musculo-skeletal system, e.g. bone, cartilage, and muscle, but also possess unique immuno-regulatory properties.


Infusion is the process of receiving products into one's circulation intravenously.

Laboratory Director

The Laboratory Director is a licensed physician with appropriate experience in laboratory and clinical medicine.

The Laboratory Director is responsible for providing specialist advice regarding the interpretation of client test results and laboratory QC activities.

Liquid Nitrogen

Liquid nitrogen is nitrogen in a liquid state at a very low temperature. It is produced industrially by fractional distillation of liquid air.

Medical Director

The Medical Director is a licensed physician with appropriate experience in laboratory and clinical medicine. The Medical Director is responsible for donor recruitment, eligibility and selection, and the medical aspects of the collection procedures. They are also responsible for reviewing the record of each CBU prior to release, including processing, test results and medical history. They must also authorise the release of all non-conforming units. The Medical Director is responsible for liaising with clients regarding clarification of the Medical History Questionnaire and assessment of the Medical History Questionnaire when review is required (including maternal risk factors for transmission of communicable diseases, test results and family medical history for transmissible genetic diseases).


Cryosite’s advanced cord tissue processing methodology is based on real science and protected by the following patents:

  1. Progenitor Cells from WJ of Human Umbilical Cord {Patent ref: AU 2004210891}
  2. Viable Cells from Frozen Umbilical Cord Tissue {Patent ref: AU 2006329195}
  3. Immune Privileged and Modulatory Progenitor Cells {Patent ref: AU 2007247725}

While most blood stem cells reside in the bone marrow, a small number are present in the bloodstream. These peripheral blood stem cells, or PBSCs, can be used just like bone marrow stem cells to treat leukemia, other cancers and various blood disorders.


The placenta is the organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall to allow nutrient uptake and waste elimination via the mother's blood supply.

Quality Manager

The Quality Manager is responsible for establishing and maintaining systems to review, modify, improve, and implement all standard operating procedures relating to Quality Management and to monitor compliance with Netcord FACT standards.

Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine is the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to damage or congenital defects. This field holds the promise of regenerating damaged tissues and organs in the body by stimulating previously irreparable organs to heal themselves. Regenerative medicine also empowers scientists to grow tissues and organs in the laboratory and safely implant them when the body cannot heal itself.

Stem Cells

Stem cells are the body’s essential "master cells", the building blocks of organ tissue, blood, and the immune system. Stem cells are unique and special as they are capable of “self renewal”, which is the ability to produce more stem cells and “differentiation”, which is the ability to produce the cells that are found in different types of tissue and organs.

These unique properties ensure that when a stem cell divides each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or to develop into another more specialised type of cell allowing the body to maintain healthy tissues as well as repairing or replacing damaged or worn out cells or tissues.

Umbilical Cord

The umbilical cord (also known as the birth cord or funiculus umbilicalis) is the connecting cord from the developing embryo or fetus to the placenta. Following the birth of a baby, the umbilical cord can be clamped and cut to allow cord blood stem cells to be collected into a sterile blood collection bag.