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Smart Cells were the first private UK stem cell storage company to release samples for use in transplants for treatment of illness and disease.

At some point your child may need stem cell treatment – whether that’s for a blood cancer, genetic disorder, brain injury or something as common as a sports injury or skin condition.

Smart Cells has now released more samples for clinical use than any other private storage company in the UK with a 100 per cent success rate. These have been used by patients all around the world to treat a range of conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Thalassemia, Leukaemia, and HSV Encephalitis.

This significant milestone for the industry highlights the advances being made in stem cell research, a service many parents-to-be are not yet aware of. Smart Cells is working to change that – and help more parents protect their children’s wellbeing and future.

Smart Cells have released 21 samples to six countries.

Stem cells hold the key to more than 80 life-changing treatments, with clinical trials underway on many more. Replacing damaged cells and tissue, they can even save a child’s life.

100% success rate

For samples released for transplant.

3 months – 12 yrs old

Stored cord blood samples have been successfully released for use in transplant for children aged as little as 3 months to 12 years old.

48% self | 52% siblings

Smart Cells have successfully released stored cord blood samples that have been used for treatment with the child it was collected from and also siblings.

Conditions Treated

Medical conditionSample release dateRecipient relationshipRecipient ageUnit volumeMedical centreCountry
LeukaemiaNov 2006Allogeneic (Sibling)RestrictedRestrictedStem Cells and Immunology
Department, Birmingham
LeukaemiaJan 2014Allogeneic (Sibling)4 Years71mlMedizinische Hochschule, Hanover Germany
ThalassemiaNov 2005Allogeneic (Sibling)4 Years144mlMount Vernon HospitalSingapore
ThalassemiaFeb 2007Allogeneic (Sibling)7 Years76mlKinderlink der Tu Munchen Germany
ThalassemiaOct 2013Allogeneic (Sibling)5 Years58mlCatherine Lewis Centre, Hammersmith UK
ThalassemiaNov 2015Allogeneic (Sibling)12 Years87mlChildren’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC USA
Cerebral PalsyAug 2009 Autologous (Self)3 Years51mlDuke University, North Carolina USA
Cerebral PalsyJan 2010Autologous (Self)3 Years81mlDuke University, North Carolina USA
Cerebral PalsyMay 2014 Autologous (Self)1 year68mlDuke University, North Carolina USA
Cerebral PalsyMar 2016 Allogeneic (Sibling)6 Years101mlDuke University, North Carolina USA
Cerebral PalsyJun 2017Autologous (Self) 7 Years82mlDuke University, North Carolina USA
Cerebral PalsyJun 2017Autologous (Self) 3.5 Years132mlDuke University, North Carolina USA
Cerebral PalsyJun 2019Allogeneic (Sibling)3 Years104mlDuke University, North Carolina USA
AutismMar 2018Autologous (Self) 5.4 Years73mlDuke University, North Carolina USA
Acute Lymphocytic LeukaemiaApr 2011Allogeneic (Sibling)8 Years130mlRoyal Marsden Hospital UK
Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (^1) Apr 2017N/A (Identical twin girls) Restricted125mlBambin Gesu Childrens’ Hospital, Rome Italy
HSV Encephalitis & NMDA Receptor Antibody Virus Jun 2014Autologous (Self) 2 Years57mlDuke University, North Carolina USA
Sickle Cell Disease May 2015Allogeneic (Sibling)2 .5 Years57mlBLK Hospital, New Delhi India
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Aug 2014Autologous (Self) 3 Months39mlDuke University, North Carolina USA
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Feb 2015Autologous (Self) 6 Months53mlDuke University, North Carolina USA
Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Mar 2015Autologous (Self) 3 Months74mlDuke University, North Carolina USA

(^1) Cord blood unit released by SCI used to help define the origin of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in twins

Learn more

Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is the general term for a number of neurological conditions that affect movement and co-ordination. Neurological conditions are caused by problems in the brain and nervous system.

Specifically, cerebral palsy is caused by a problem in the parts of the brain responsible for controlling muscles. The condition can occur if the brain develops abnormally or is damaged before, during or shortly after birth.

It is estimated that 1 in 400 people in the UK is affected by cerebral palsy.1

Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell anaemia is a serious inherited blood disorder where the red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body, develop abnormally.

The disorder mainly affects people of African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean and Asian origin. In the UK, sickle cell disorders are most commonly seen in African and Caribbean people. (7)


The leukaemias are a group of cancers of the blood and bone marrow. Broadly speaking, these diseases can be classified as acute or chronic. Some leukaemias, particularly in the acute category, can progresses rapidly and aggressively and thus requires prompt treatment, whereas others are slower to progress.

The leukaemias are classified according to the cell type and chromosomal problems associated with the cancer.

Leukaemia incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older men and women. In the UK, around 9,000 people are diagnosed each year with leukaemia. (3)


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a range of similar conditions, including Asperger syndrome, that affect a person’s social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour.

In children with ASD, the symptoms are present before three years of age, although a diagnosis can sometimes be made after the age of three. It’s estimated that about 1 in every 100 people in the UK has ASD. More boys are diagnosed with the condition than girls.(8)

HSV Encephalitis

Infantile (HSV) Encephalitis is an uncommon but serious condition caused by a virus. This can lead to inflammation and damage to the brain. (4)


Thalassaemia is an inherited condition, which means it can be passed on from parents to children. It’s not known exactly what causes the genetic mutations associated with thalassaemia. However, it’s likely they’ve they have persisted in certain areas of the world as carriers of the condition (both alpha and beta thalassaemia) are protected against malaria.

This is why thalassaemia and other related genetic blood disorders, such as sickle cell anaemia, are more common in parts of the world where malaria is a problem, including certain Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Cyprus and Italy, the Middle East, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. (2)

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is the name given to a group of rare inherited disorders which cause severe abnormalities of the immune system.

This happens when white blood cells, responsible for fighting infection, are missing or working poorly. Their absence or poor function results in serious and often life-threatening infections. (6)

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is a birth injury that describes oxygen starvation that happens to the infant brain. There can be severe neurological impairment and damage to other organs as a result. (5)

Shamshad Ahmed

Founder & CEO of Smart Cells International Ltd

“The number of samples we have released signifies that stem cell technology is one of the most exciting areas of medical science in our time. The fact that we have released more samples in the past ten years than we did in the first ten years shows this evolving area is making big steps in a positive direction.”

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