Cord blood (CB) stem cell transplantations have been associated with delayed hematopoietic engraftment. This has most likely been due to the limited numbers of hematopoietic short-term repopulating cells in CB. Ex vivo expansion of CB has been attempted, and expansion of CD34-enriched CB has been successful; however, CD34 enrichment procedures are in general associated with substantial cell loss. Thus, we have studied culture conditions for expansion of nonenriched CB. Nonenriched CB cells were cultured for 21 days in the presence of conditioned medium from the HS-5 stromal cell line and FLT3-L or alternatively in the presence of FLT3-L, stem cell factor (SCF), megakaryocite growth and development factor (MGDF), and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) (FSMG), either on fibronectin fragment CH-296-coated dishes or on uncoated dishes. With all four culture conditions, the number of mononuclear cells initially decreased until day 7 and then increased until the end of the expansion cultures. Overall expansion using HS-5 and FLT3-L resulted in superior expansion of MNC and CFU-C (44-/34-fold) for both cultures with and without CH-296 compared to FSMG (18-/17-fold). Expansion on CH-296 was less efficient than expansion on tissue culture-treated wells without CH-296 for both conditions. We then studied the best time for transduction on nonenriched CB. In contrast to enriched CD34 cells, we found for both conditions, HS-5/FLT3-L and growth factor cocktail, higher transduction efficiencies when cells were transduced on day 7 as compared to day 2. Gene transfer rates up to 45% were achieved with both conditions, which corresponded with the increased number of cells in S phase on day 7 compared to day 2. We conclude that HS-5 and FLT-3L allow efficient expansion and transduction of nonenriched CB.