August 6, 2020 by Erin

The human umbilical cord is being increasingly recognized by the medical community for its potential in regenerative medicine and cellular therapiesOnce discarded as medical waste, the umbilical cord contains valuable stem cells that are now at the forefront of medical research.  Cord blood derived Hematopoietic  Stem Cells (HSCS) are currently approved by the FDA and being used to treat over 80 diseases and cord tissue derived therapies have been approved in the European Union, Australia, and Canada. 


What are Cord Blood Cells ​?

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from cord blood are the precursors to all other types of blood cells and cellular components, with the potential to become red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, etc. These multipotent cells are a source of treatment and renewal for many blood disorders, immune system deficiencies, cancers, and tumors.  Historically, HSCs have only been available from bone marrow and peripheral blood transplants.  Today, HSCs from baby’s umbilical cord blood are considered to be far superior both medically and financially.


What Are Cord Tissue Cells​?

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from cord tissue are also multi-potent and can become many different types of cells, including cartilage, bone, fat, skin, and connective tissue.  MSCs show promise in treating serious wounds, burns, diabetes, Autism, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, liver disease, stroke, and spinal cord injuries, to name a few. ​ MSCs are especially unique because they can regenerate, allowing for multiple treatments.  In addition, MSCs can give signals to other cells to start healing chronic wounds or to prevent harmful inflammation caused by autoimmune, immune-related, and neurodegenerative conditions such as Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. These versatile properties have the potential to make MSCs help us overcome some of the most difficult-to-treat medical conditions. 


What Are Placental Tissue Cells​?

The placenta also contains mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), but unlike cord tissue, these cells are a 100% genetic match to the mother.  This stem cell source is currently used to treat burns, surgical wounds, eye conditions, and diabetic ulcers. Placental tissue is also showing promise in clinical trials for treating cerebral palsy, prostate cancer, throat cancer, heart conditions, neurological dysfunction, and kidney failure.  

In addition to these stem cells, there are other medically valuable components in the cord blood, cord tissue, and placental tissue.  These can also be extracted and used as raw materials to manufacture products for medical treatments and cosmetic uses. 

What Are Exosomes?

The umbilical cord also contains exosomes, nanometer sized vesicles released by every cell in the body. Exosomes are thought to be a medium for cell communication and intercellular transport. They play an important role in the transmission of proteins, lipids, mRNAs, , and DNA. They play an important role in the treatment of diseases and are being studied as a targeted drug delivery system, carrying a specific drug to a specific cell or tissues2 The exosomes released by regenerative cells such as stem cells, are potent drivers of healing and repair. Umbilical cord derived exosomes have been found to activate several signaling pathways conducive in wound healing, cell growth, and collagen synthesis. Studies have also shown that these exosomes also contain growth factors associated with skin rejuvenation1 


What is Wharton’s Jelly?

Wharton’s jelly is the mucous connective tissue within the umbilical cordIt contains an abundance of precursor MSCs that ideally suited for use in cartilage repairThey have been shown to have the desired capacity for proliferation, differentiation, and release of trophic factors to provide cell-based cartilage restoration. Although allogeneic in nature, these cells stimulate little or no host immune response and can be stored for long periods while maintaining viability.  Off-the-shelf treatment are in development to utilize these MSCs for cartilage repair in knees. 


About Cord for Life® 

Since 1993, Cord for Life® has been the expert in cord blood collection, processing, and storage. We were the first cord blood bank to accept both private storage and publicly donated cord blood collections from anywhere in the continental United States. Our team of scientists and cord blood banking professionals are leaders in the cord blood collection community who have helped clients around the world successfully launch and grow their organization’s cord blood collections. Our team members are passionate about our mission to Save Lives. Cord for Life® has released more units for transplant, research, and clinical trials than any other private bank and are unique in offering both private and public banking options. 




Our purpose is to provide the expectant mothers with information necessary to discover the lifesaving potential of umbilical cord blood.

Copyright Cord for Life 2019. All rights reserved.

Deborah A. Sardone

Ms. Sardone has over 30 years of clinical laboratory experience as a Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Supervisor, including over 25 years with Central Florida Regional Hospital (CFRH). She was Supervisor of Quality Assurance, Safety and Education at CFRH for 11 years, held the positions of Blood Bank Supervisor for 11 years, and Hematology Supervisor for 1 year. She has participated in both sides of the inspection process, serving on the College of American Pathologists Inspection team for CAP Hospital Accreditation in Florida, and assisting in receiving accreditation by The Joint Commission (TJC), American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through the inspections of the clinical laboratory. Ms. Sardone is licensed by the State of Florida as a Clinical Laboratory Technologist in Immunohematology, Hematology, Serology and Clinical Chemistry. She is a certified Clinical Laboratory Technologist with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP). Ms. Sardone serves as Manager of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs at Cord For Life, Inc. overseeing all licensing and regulatory agencies to ensure that the highest quality in all aspects of cord blood collection, processing, and storage is maintained.  Ms. Sardone has been with Cord For Life for over 5 years of dedicated service. Her skills and knowledge in blood banking and quality assurance have enabled her to establish, implement and maintain a superior quality system that meets and exceeds all standards and regulatory requirements for Cord For Life, Inc.

Personal Background:

  • Sardone is a graduate of The City University of New York in Medical Laboratory Technology.
  • Sardone is licensed in Florida as a Clinical Medical Technologist and she is nationally recognized as ASCP Certified.
  • Sardone enjoys photography and dancing.

Kelli Cable

Ms. Cable has 35+ years – experience in Office, Management, Human Resources, & Customer Service. As the Director of Administration and Client Services, Ms. Cable joined Cord for Life in December 2006, and has assisted in providing more efficient and effective ways to ease the enrollment process, as well as obtaining and establishing excellent customer care during the enrollment and donation period; for our Storage and Donation customers.

Personal Background:

  • Mrs. Cable is married and has two boys.
  • In 1994, Ms. Cable moved to Orlando from Boulder, Colorado.
  • Has a passion for travel and enjoys watching NFL games, cheering on her favorite team, the Denver Broncos.

Donald Hudspeth

Mr. Hudspeth has over 28 years of clinical laboratory experience as a certified Medical Technologist (ASCP), including ten years with the University of North Carolina Hospitals and 18 years with Cord for Life. Mr. Hudspeth is licensed by the State of Florida as a Clinical Laboratory Supervisor in Immunohematology, Hematology, Serology, Clinical Chemistry, Molecular Pathology and Microbiology as well as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist and has completed the AABB Certification in Cellular Therapies through George Washington University.

Mr. Hudspeth is a registered Technologist with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and a member of the Cord Blood Association. He has also enjoyed teaching Immunology to Clinical Laboratory Science and medical school students at UNC while working in the UNCH clinical labs.  Mr. Hudspeth is an Eagle Scout with 5 palms and has served numerous volunteer positions within the local Scouts BSA Troop and Pack.

Personal Background:

  • Mr. Hudspeth received his Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • “Eagle Scout with Five Palms”
  • Avid golfer with a 14 handicap.

Sara Irrgang, M.D

During the last two years of Medical School, Dr. Irrgang was in the United States Navy 1915 Ensign Program and completed a clerkship at the Naval Hospital at Charleston, South Carolina as well as a research clerkship at the Naval Aerospace Institute at Pensacola, Florida. Dr. Irrgang completed her four year Pathology residency at Baylor University Medical Center, and her internship at the University District Hospital, Rio Piedras in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Currently, Dr. Irrgang is Board Certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and licensed in the states of South Carolina, Texas, New Jersey and Florida and she is an Associate Medical Examiner at the District Nine Medical Examiners Office. Dr. Irrgang is a fellow at numerous organizations including; The College of American Pathologists, National Association of Medical Examiners, Florida Association of Medical Examiners, Seminole County Medical Society, and the Florida Medical Society.

Personal Background:

  • Dr. Irrgang received a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the University of South Carolina.
  • Attended the Medical College of South Carolina at Charleston where she earned a Medical Doctorate Degree.
  • Dr. Irrgang has a passion for breeding show horses
  • Dr. Irrgang is a 4-H leader in Lake County, Florida
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