Cord blood (CB) is used increasingly in transplant patients lacking sibling or unrelated donors. A major hurdle in the use of CB is its low cell dose, which is largely responsible for an elevated risk of graft failure and a significantly delayed neutrophil and platelet engraftment. As a positive correlation has been shown between the total nucleated cell (TNC) and CD34(+) cell dose transplanted and time to neutrophil and platelet engraftment, strategies to increase these measures are under development. One strategy includes the ex vivo expansion of CB mononuclear cells (MNC) with MSC in a cytokine cocktail. We show that this strategy can be further improved if CD3(+) and/or CD14(+) cells are first depleted from the CB MNC before ex vivo expansion. Ready translation of this depletion strategy to improve ex vivo CB expansion in the clinic is feasible as clinical-grade devices and reagents are available. Ultimately, the aim of improving TNC and CD34(+) transplant doses is to further improve the rate of neutrophil and platelet engraftment in CB recipients.