FAQs

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Find out everything you need to know about Future Health Biobank, our stem cell banking and diagnostic testing services

Your collection kit will be delivered to your home on receipt of all paperwork and a deposit payment. On the day you give birth, simply bring it with you alongside your maternity bag for the phlebotomist to use later.

As soon as labour starts, all you will need to do is call the phlebotomist on the number provided when you signed up for the service. If possible, keep them updated on your labour until they arrive. Your phlebotomist is on-call any time, day or night.

A phlebotomist is a professional medical practitioner, nurse or doctor who is qualified to take blood samples from patients. They are necessary to ensure your sample is taken correctly, ready for laboratory analysis and processing. At Future Health, a phlebotomist is organized for you as part of your cord blood/tissue banking service.

Most often, a phlebotomist will be required to collect your cord blood and tissue samples at the hospital and we will arrange this for you. However, in some cases, your private consultant or midwife may be able to collect the samples for you.

The care provided to you and your baby at such a critical time is of the utmost importance, so we would not do anything to jeopardize this. It is standard practice to only collect the stem cells once the third stage of labour has been successfully completed and both you and baby are safe and comfortable.

Once your baby has been safely delivered, your assigned healthcare professional or phlebotomist will collect your baby’s cord blood, cord tissue and the maternal bloods before placing them in the collection kit.

Your phlebotomist or healthcare professional will hand back your sample in the collection kit. All you have to do next is text ‘COLLECT’ to our dedicated medical courier on 07984 357 806 between 08.00am and 08.00pm, 7 days a week to request collection. They will safely transport your baby’s stem cell sample to Future Health’s laboratory in Nottingham.

After verifying, processing and storing your sample at the Future Health laboratory, we will notify you of the results by phone and confirm your results via email within 3 to 4 weeks. You will also be issued with a storage certificate as further confirmation.

Yes, having a water birth will not affect your collection.

Yes, placenta encapsulation will not affect your collection, the phlebotomist will collect your samples and then give the placenta to the representative for the encapsulation company.

No, having a scheduled caesarean will not affect your collection.

If you forget your collection kit you will need to call your phlebotomist and ask them to bring their emergency kit instead. You can also call our emergency line on 01159 677 707.

Yes, you will simply need to ensure the phlebotomist has a safe area to perform you collection and somewhere to wait if you would prefer them not to be in the room with you.

Stem cell banking

Since 1988, over 40,000 cord blood stem cell samples have been used in medical applications worldwide. At Future Health Biobank, we have released 118 client samples.

Yes, all samples at Future Health are split into multiple portions should you ever need them in the future. We always follow the industry standard volume-reduced processing method, to ensure the optimum number of stem cells are stored without compromising the safety of the sample.

After conducting stringent viability checks at the Future Health lab, each stem cell sample must contain a minimum of 200,000 CD34+ stem cells to qualify for successful long-term storage.

Whether it’s cord blood, cord tissue or dental pulp, the scientists at our lab follow stringent stem cell recovery processes. Stem cells are isolated from each sample using the latest, industry-approved technology before being tested for viability. If the sample is viable, its stem cells are ready for long term cryopreservation.

Once your cord blood and/or cord tissue or dental pulp sample has been successfully processed and stored, you will receive confirmation in writing along with your storage certificate containing the unique identification number for your sample(s). This will also include stem cell (CD34+ and CD45+) counts, your maternal blood testing results and microbiology results.

No. Whether you opt for a natural delivery or caesarean section, managed or physiological third stage of labour, there should be no problem collecting your baby’s stem cells. For this reason, we do not recommend your birth plan is altered or compromised in any way.

Cord blood banking

Umbilical cord blood is the blood found in the placenta and umbilical cord after a baby is born. It contains a rich source of nutrients from the mother and stem cells, which can be used to treat a range of blood (hematopoietic) and inherited diseases.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells are knowns as Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). They can multiply themselves to renew and regenerate a wide range of blood cells within the human body. This ability makes them a valuable component in over 85 standard treatments.

Cord blood banking starts with collecting a blood sample from the umbilical cord, then processing and storing the stem cells for use in potential future treatments. All our samples are stored privately, meaning the stem cells will only be accessible to your child and/or a family member.

Yes, you can. A small fraction of the total blood volume in the umbilical cord and placenta is required to collect a sample. This means that the majority of maternal blood will go to the baby during delayed cord clamping, alongside its essential oxygen and nutrients.

Cord blood stem cells can treat over 85 blood and inherited diseases/conditions, and are being tested in hundreds of studies. As standard, cord blood can treat bone marrow cancers, lymphomas, leukaemia, anaemia, sickle cell diseases and much more. Cord tissue stem cells are currently used in over 300 studies including autism, arthritis, diabetes and cerebral palsy.

The procedure is quick, painless and completely non-invasive. A phlebotomist takes a blood sample from the umbilical cord straight after your baby is born, then safely packages it ready for transportation to the Future Health laboratory. You should barely notice the phlebotomist’s presence.

Every cord blood unit is a 100% DNA match for that child, so it is advised to store one sample per child to ensure the highest chance of success in treatment. However, one child’s cord blood sample offers a 25% chance of being a match for a sibling.

At Future Health, we solely store cord blood stem cells for your child and your family. You can donate these stem cells to a public stem cell banks such as the Anthony Nolan Trust or NHSBT, but you will no longer have direct access to this sample.

Cord tissue banking

The stem cells found in umbilical cord tissue itself are called Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which have different regenerative properties to cord blood. Instead, they are used to treat conditions affecting muscle, bone, cartilage and nerve cells. Currently, MSCs are involved in over 1,000 clinical trials such as cerebral palsy, diabetes and arthritis.

Cord tissue banking starts with collecting, processing a small part of your baby’s umbilical cord after birth, which is then split into sections and stored for use in potential future treatments. All our samples are stored privately, meaning the stem cells will only be accessible to your child and/or a family member.

Dental pulp banking

The term ‘dental pulp stem cells’ refers to specialist stem cells found in the soft tissue at the centre of a tooth. Milk teeth that naturally fall out contain a rich source of cells, known as Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). This type of stem cell can repair and regenerate many types of tissue in the body, including muscle, nerve, bone and cartilage, to treat diseases.

Dental pulp banking starts with collecting a single fallen milk tooth from your child, then having the stem cells within processed and stored for use in potential future treatments. All our samples are stored privately, meaning the stem cells will only be accessible to your child and/or a family member.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) found in dental pulp are currently present in over 1,000 studies worldwide. These trials have identified the benefits of dental stem cells for treating a range of illnesses such as muscular dystrophy, neurogenerative diseases and arthritis.

The stem cells found in cord blood are known as hematopoietic stem cells and can also be found in bone marrow. They have the ability to regenerate blood cells in the human body and treat blood-related and autoimmune illnesses. MSCs found in dental pulp regenerate bone, cartilage, muscle and other types of tissue cells, with the potential to treat the likes of spinal injury, heart disease and arthritis.

Yes. Cord blood and dental stem cells have different potentials in terms of the diseases and conditions that they could be used to treat. For more information see “What are dental pulp stem cells”.

The process couldn’t be simpler. We send your dental pulp collection kit to your home once your child has a wobbly tooth. Once the tooth falls out, place it in the specialist tooth collection kit before notifying our medical courier. The courier will then collect the sample from your home and send it to our laboratory. We take care of the sample processing, quality testing and contamination testing before finally storing each sample for decades to come.

If your child’s milk teeth are close to falling out, the first step is to order a collection kit from Future Health Biobank. This can be kept at home ready for when the tooth falls out. Click here to order your child’s tooth collection kit.

Whilst any tooth has the potential to be used, ideally we would recommend sending any of the anterior deciduous teeth. These are the 12 teeth in the front, 6 on top and 6 on bottom.

Future Health biobank has successfully isolated stem cells from both adult teeth and milk teeth. Teeth removed for orthodontic purposes as well as wisdom teeth extractions can be sent for processing, providing they are 100% healthy.

We have been operating for over 17 years, making us the longest established private stem cell bank in Europe. Over the years we have also become one of the world’s largest family banks, storing over 190,000 samples from 75 countries worldwide.

As one of the most accredited stem cell banks in the world, Future Health Biobank’s holds MHRA authorisation, AABB accreditation, GMP certification and licenses from Swissmedic, HTA, OFSP, BSI and FCA.

We store umbilical cord blood, cord tissue and dental pulp stem cells – mostly collected from babies (at birth) and young children. These cells can repair and renew a wide variety of blood, tissue, bone and cartilage cells throughout the human body.

We pride ourselves as being the longest established, largest and most accredited stem cell bank in the UK. Our processes are regulated to industry standards and we are passionate about putting the security of families’ samples first. You can find out more about the Future Health difference here.

We offer three main price packages, each including an initial set up fee. The remaining cost is invoiced after your baby is born. You can take advantage of our flexible interest-free payment options over 6 and 12 months.

Our Vision NIPT and Outlook newborn screening tests can be purchased individually – or alternatively, Outlook can be included as part of your cord blood banking package.

Yes. You will receive £100 for recommending a friend, and that friend will get 10% off their service. We also have discount schemes for repeat customers, families with twins. Plus, we promise to beat any competitor’s quote by £50.

Your sample will be stored at our state-of-the-art headquarters in Nottingham, UK. However, we also own and run a second storage facility in Switzerland to cater to our international client base. Our extensive storage facilities offer total security and safety, backed up by an on-site laboratory in the UK.

All of our storage tanks are alarmed and monitored 24/7, 365 days a year. In the event of an emergency they can run without electricity for up to 5 days, allowing time to relocate samples. As additional peace of mind, we offer new customers free StemCellCare insurance for 2 years.

Based on current scientific studies, each cord blood stem cell sample can be stored (and perfectly viable for treatments) for up to 29 years. However, scientific advancements mean they could be stored for longer.

In the unlikely event that either of these things happen, each sample is covered by our insolvency protection scheme. This means your sample will be transferred to another suitable HTA licensed facility in the UK, who will fulfill the terms of your original agreement.

Wherever you live in the world, you can rest assured that your stem cells will remain safely stored in the UK facility of Future Health Biobank. If you do move, please remember to let us know your new address and contact information so we can keep our records up to date.

Our laboratory is open for processing 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year, with the exception of bank holidays and festive periods. Notifications of any closures or changes to the working day will be sent well in advance.

Diagnostic testing involves studying a person’s DNA sample to indicate or rule out any differences and abnormalities. During the test, changes in chromosomes, genes and proteins are analysed to provide a highly accurate picture of that person’s future health.

Non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPT), can be taken from 10 weeks into pregnancy to determine whether your baby has any abnormalities. The DNA from one sample of maternal blood allows the NIPT to identify conditions such as Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome and Triple X syndrome. It can also identify the baby’s sex.

If you are interested in receiving the Vision test, please call us on 0115 967 7707 to enquire as to the location of your nearest clinic.

No, both NIPT and newborn screening tests are non-invasive and safe for mother and baby. Future Health’s Vision NIPT only involves taking a single blood sample from the mother, making it a much safer testing method than amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.

Compared with amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, our Vision NIPT is a safer testing method because it poses no danger to the child. The Vision NIPT has higher testing accuracy (99.79%).

The first trimester Nuchal Translucency scan only determines the risk of a child developing Down’s syndrome and therefore does not detect whether or not there is an aneuploidy present. Vision tests for this chromosomal aneuploidy.

Unfortunately it is not possible to show which twin the result relates to. In gender identification, a result that shows the Y chromosome has been detected means at least one of the babies is likely to be a male, however it is not possible to determine the individual gender of each baby. Clarification of these results can be obtained from routine ultrasound scans offered later in a pregnancy, as they will also attempt to identify the gender of the babies.

Newborn screening is carried out by taking a simple mouth swab from your baby or a maternal cord blood sample, and having it tested in a lab for inherited conditions that can develop within the first few months of life. It identifies whether your child is at risk of developing medical or dietary conditions such as lactose intolerance, coeliac disease, medication induced deafness and bitter taste.

Storing your child’s stem cells with Future Health is a simple process and our customer care team will take care of everything for you.

Simply contact us on 0115 967 7707 or email custcare@fhbb.com and we will send you an information pack and an agreement to complete.

We will then send you a collection kit, allocate your health care professional for the collection (if required) and write to your hospital to inform them of your request to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day.

Your samples will be transported using our own dedicated medical courier who will collect your baby’s cord blood and tissue from the hospital or your home and deliver it straight to our laboratory 365 days a year.

All collection kits are designed to maintain the correct temperature (do not put them in a fridge or freezer) to keep the sample in optimum condition until it reaches our laboratory. All collection kits include nanocool engine to ensure that the sample maintains the required temperature during shipping.

We will process your samples generally within 24 hours of the collection.

Our laboratory is open for processing 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year, ensuring all samples are processed well within our regulatory guidelines, giving clients the best possible results.

All cord blood samples must be processed before storage, to ensure they are stabilised prior to cryopreservation in vapour phase Liquid Nitrogen.

During processing, each sample is condensed and split into multiple portions, meaning should you require your child stem cells in the future, only one segment needs to be used, leaving the rest intact for use in future treatments.

Each sample is processed individually by our highly experienced and trained scientists. We don’t use a fully automated system where multiple samples are processed simultaneously, as processing multiple samples at once could put your sample at risk of contamination.

Your child’s cord blood and cord tissue samples will be processed and stored at our specialised facility in Nottingham.

We will NEVER send your samples to be stored by a third party, as we believe this can put your samples at unnecessary risk.

Each sample will be split into multiple portions within our specially designed double-wrapped casing before freezing, enabling your child’s sample to be used several times to treat life-threatening conditions, if required.

All of our storage tanks are individually alarmed and monitored 24/7, 365 days a year.

We hope you never need to use your sample, but if you do, we will organise everything for you.

After arranging the consent papers with you, we will work with your doctor to arrange the safe delivery of your sample to the transplant facility on the given date and time.

No. We take care of everything.

We will not charge you for the release and transportation of your sample (anywhere in the world) if your family needs it for use in a treatment.

The care provided to you and your baby at such a critical time is of the utmost importance so don’t do anything to jeopardize this.

It is therefore standard practice to only collect the stem cells once the third stage of labour has been successfully completed and both you and baby are safe and comfortable.

Help and Advice

Hear from our customers

"I spent time researching the scientific developments of stem cells and regenerative medicine. I felt that this precious source of stem cells was too valuable to throw away."

"Although I was too late for the cord blood service with Leah, once I heard about the benefits of tooth stem cell banking, I knew it was an opportunity I did not want to miss."

"Even though we didn't have any family health issues, I knew that if there was even the smallest chance this could save my child's life if they were to get sick, it was extremely worth doing, as no one knows what the future holds."

Gary Bateman

Leicestershire, July 2015

Sarah Carnelley

Nottingham, January 2015

Michelle Egan

Newcastle, January 2014