Factors influencing cord blood viability assessment before cryopreservation

Michael Solomon, Jonathan Wofford, Cory Johnson, Donna Regan, Michael H. Creer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Cord blood (CB) viability determines product quality and varies with time and temperature of exposure before cryopreservation. Global viability assessment may not reflect viability of white blood cell (WBC) subsets, CD34+ cell viability, or hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells function. Study design and methods: We compared trypan blue (TB) and acridine orange/propidium iodide (AO/PI) staining with flow-cytometric (7-aminoactinomycin D 7-AAD) viability in total WBCs (Tot-AAD), granulocytes, monocytes, lymphocytes, and CD34+ cells and total nucleated cell, CD34+, and colony-forming cell (CFC) recovery as a function of time and temperature (4, 24, and 37°C) before cryopreservation. Results: TB, AO/PI, and Tot-AAD viability was concordant up to 72 hours (4°C) and 48 hours (24°C) postcollection; however, CD34+ viability was significantly higher due to loss of viable granulocytes. In contrast, at "physiologic" temperature (37°C), the decline in TB, AO/PI, and Tot-AAD viability was significantly lower than the rate of viable CD34+ and CFC loss. At all times and temperatures, CFC recovery correlated best with CD34+ viability and recovery. Conclusions: CB cell populations exhibit differential time- and temperature-dependent susceptibility to in vitro cell death; consequently, global viability measurements using TB, AO/PI, or 7-AAD (Tot-AAD) significantly underestimate (4-24°C) or overestimate (24-37°C) CD34+ viability and CFC recovery. Our results demonstrate the limitations of global viability assessment with TB, AO/PI, and total AAD; endorse the routine use of CD34+ cell viability measurements; emphasize the importance of temperature control during shipment; and have implications with regard to establishing acceptable "cutoff" values for viability measurements and CB collection through processing time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-830
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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