New technique for stem cell culture: The speed of growth will be three times faster

Researchers from the whitehead institute at MIT and elsewhere have found a way to triple the number of human embryonic stem cells and iPS cells without the need for mouse feeding cells that are commonly used in culture. The findings are published in the journal proceedings of the national academy of sciences.

Embryonic stem cells and iPS cells due to its outstanding ability to regenerate, attracts many scientists, these pluripotent stem cell is a new hope to many diseases, such as Parkinson's, alzheimer's disease, etc., and is also the new direction of filtering signal, at the same time, these cells for diabetes, nerve damage, or other group provides transplantation of cells. But these applications require millions, or even tens of millions, of cells, which cannot be grown with current methods.

In this article, the researchers increased the growth rate of human embryonic stem cells, as well as iPS cells, by a factor of three, simply by exposing them to ultraviolet light on a commonly used polystyrene plate. "Polystyrene is the most common culture surface in the laboratory," said the study's author, Daniel Anderson, an associate professor in the harvard-mit department of health science and technology. “This small change can replace the feeder layer in mice, and I believe this will have many applications."

Using mouse fibroblasts as feeder layers is one of the key techniques for the isolation, culture and passage of embryonic stem cells, which can contaminate human stem cells with viruses, or mouse macromolecules. In order to improve the speed of stem-cell cultures, and avoid pollution risk, the team's results efforts to explore new methods, they at last year's a piece of Nature Materials, reported using artificial polymer matrix (containing a large number of hydrocarbons, and ester base) greatly improves the speed the growth of cells, although this method is very effective, but because of these polymers are hard to synthesis into different cell culture container, therefore cannot be used in mass production.

But this latest paper builds on previous research that helped researchers understand the best surface compounds, using a simple method that suggests a reasonably cost-effective way to increase stem cells growth. Researchers have adopted an innovative and unconventional methods to promote the polystyrene board concentrations of hydrocarbons and ester base: they use an ultraviolet ozone instrument (a UV ozone unit, through compiling), the researchers found that after 2 1/2 minutes of UV irradiation, the cultured cells can grow rapidly in the absence of feeder cells.
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