ImageThe Chennai-based LifeCell International, the pioneers in cord blood banking in India, plans to launch menstrual stem cell banking service in Mumbai on March 8. The women in this city will be able to bank their menstrual stem cells this day onwards.

LifeCell, is all set to emerge as the front runners, yet again in exploring the multi-potent possibilities of menstrual blood banking. With exclusive license for India from Florida-based Cryo-Cell International, which has developed the technology to harvest, process and store stem cells from menstrual fluid, "LifeCell International is currently field-testing the technology with Indian doctors. The last state of clinical trials are going on", said Mayur Abhaya, executive director of LifeCell International.

"LifeCell has introduced a special collection kits for women who wish to bank their stem cells. The Kit has a collection cup that can collect up to 30 ml of menstrual blood. The medically manufactured silicone cup comes in three sizes and is an environment-friendly alternative to sanitary napkins and tampons. It is reusable and potentially leak proof, non-messy and one that can last through long hours. Women can collect their menstrual fluid in the privacy of their homes," Abhaya added.

After collection the menstrual fluid is to be poured into a tube which has anti-coagulants which prevents the blood from clotting. A shipping box provided with the kit helps in maintaining the required temperature during shipment.

The success rate of menstrual blood stem cells is about 100 times higher than the 0.2 to 0.3 per cent of stem cells derived from human bone marrow.

Scientists have discovered that the menstrual blood, a biological waste discarded from the body once a month and considered impure and unhygienic for a long time, has the qualities for life saving. The menstrual blood is rich in stem cells, which are multi-potent and have the capacity for self-renewal. According to some of the latest research done in the stem cell industry women could soon use their menstrual blood for their own treatment. These cells can also be used to treat various types of disorders – heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders.