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Umbilical cord blood banking: from personal donation to international public registries to global bioeconomy

Authors Petrini C

Received 14 March 2014

Accepted for publication 18 April 2014

Published 18 June 2014 Volume 2014:5 Pages 87—97


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Carlo Petrini

Italian National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy

Abstract: The procedures for collecting voluntarily and freely donated umbilical cord blood (UCB) units and processing them for use in transplants are extremely costly, and the capital flows thus generated form part of an increasingly pervasive global bioeconomy. To place the issue in perspective, this article first examines the different types of UCB biobank, the organization of international registries of public UCB biobanks, the optimal size of national inventories, and the possibility of obtaining commercial products from donated units. The fees generally applied for the acquisition of UCB units for transplantation are then discussed, and some considerations are proposed regarding the social and ethical implications raised by the international network for the importation and exportation of UCB, with a particular emphasis on the globalized bioeconomy of UCB and its commerciality or lack thereof.

Keywords: cord blood banking, economy, ethics, stem cells, transplantation

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