This is an Open Access Article (CC-BY 3.0). It is published by Elsevier as Open Access at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcyt.2014.09.003BACKGROUND AIMS: With the rising use of umbilical cord blood (UCB) as an alternative source of hematopoietic stem cells, storage inventories of UCB have grown, giving rise to genetically diverse inventories globally. In the absence of reliable markers such as CD34 or counts of colony-forming units, total nucleated cell (TNC) counts are often used as an indicator of potency, and transplant centers worldwide often select units with the largest counts of TNC. As a result, cord blood banks are driven to increase the quality of stored inventories by increasing the TNC count of products stored. However, these banks face challenges in recovering consistent levels of TNC with the use of the standard protocols of automated umbilical cord processing systems, particularly in the presence of input variation both of cord blood volume and TNC count, in which it is currently not possible to process larger but useable UCB units with consequent losses in TNC. METHODS: This report addresses the challenge of recovering consistently high TNC yields in volume reduction by proposing and validating an alternative protocol capable of processing a larger range of units more reliably. RESULTS: This work demonstrates improvements in plastic ware and tubing sets and in the recovery process protocol with consequent productivity gains in TNC yield and a reduction in standard deviation. CONCLUSIONS: This work could pave the way for cord blood banks to improve UCB processing and increase efficiency through higher yields and lower costs
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