Stem cell mobilization and collection

Stem cell mobilization means receiving medicine that causes stem cells to leave the tissues they normally occupy and to circulate in the bloodstream. Typically it takes a few days after receiving the medicine for the stem cells to mobilize. Then the stem cells are collected using a machine similar to those used for blood donation at blood banks. A catheter (tube) is placed in a donor’s large vein so blood can flow out of the body and into the machine, which separates the stem cells from the blood and returns the blood through another catheter. Collection typically takes a few hours, and donors leave the same day.