Globes [online] is reporting that Israeli Biocord Ltd., which developed a novel efficient pump for withdrawing umbilical blood, “is negotiating to raise $2 million from a foreign medical devices company.” At the present time, umbilical blood is collected only for the purpose of freezing it for possible future use, as it contains large amounts of umbilical stem cells.
Israel21C provides details about the device that is thought to one day replace inefficient needle systems being used today:
Made mainly of polypropylene and latex, the SituGen comprises a holder which clamps around the umbilical cord, holding the cord in place as the placenta is delivered and absorbing the maternal blood so it doesn’t contaminate the baby’s cord blood. Attached to the holder through a sophisticated synchronization and sealing mechanism is a sterilization chamber into which the blood flows. A syringe is connected to the other end of the chamber which can be removed when full, emptied and then refilled.
“There’s no needle, there’s no bottleneck, it’s one hundred percent disinfected and sterilized, which is a must in this process,” explains Shacham. [Miki Shacham, CEO of Ramat-Gan-based Israeli cord blood bank company and the inventor of the new device. -ed.]
In initial tests of the prototype, in around seven minutes as much as triple the usual 80ml was collected by the SituGen, enough stem cells to treat an adult. As well as extracting more blood, the device is easier to use than a needle, with only a short time needed to master its operation, says Shaham.
Shaham developed the device under the auspices of BioCord’s sister company, Impact, of which he is also the CEO. Not content with aiming to revolutionize cord blood collection, Shaham has another idea up his sleeve: a device for nursing mothers to allow them to measure exactly how much breast milk their baby has drunk. However, like every good businessperson, he is remaining tight-lipped about this until the prototype is ready and patents have been filed.