We worked with Theracord LLC to develop a device to improve the cord blood collection process. Cord-blood is a dense source of stem-cells derived from the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born and the cord is cut. Cord-blood is used to treat patients with blood cancers and other disorders of the blood and immune system because the stem-cells found in it can form into blood cells. However, cord-blood transplantation is sensitive to incompatibilities and may not be combined with other sources of blood to reach greater volumes. Therefore, the amount of cord-blood collected can limit which candidates are eligible for treatment.
Theracord’s principal innovation focused on the speed and ease of the process to collect cord-blood. At any time, nurses are being called in many different directions. Improving the process from one that requires a nurse’s constant and sole attention to something that is more automated means the nurse can start the process instead of letting the cord be thrown away, and then let the process continue for longer to extract more blood. We worked with Theracord to develop a single device to safely insert the needle into the cord, clamp onto the cord for the duration of the blood extraction, and then cover the needle upon extraction to prevent accidental injuries.