Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers devise way to mass-produce embryonic stem cells

16.03.2005


Ohio – Researchers at Ohio State University have developed a method for mass-producing embryonic stem cells.



That’s important because traditional laboratory methods used to grow these cells are costly and don’t produce cells fast enough to respond to increasing demands for human embryonic stem cells, said Shang-Tian Yang, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State University.

Federal rules forbid the federal funding of research on human embryonic stem cell lines that aren’t listed on the National Institutes of Health’s Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry. There are currently 22 embryonic stem cell lines on the registry, and the demand for these cells is steadily growing. "We have to find a way to mass-produce them because traditional cell culturing methods can’t meet the projected high market demand for stem cells," Yang said.


He and Anli Ouyang, a doctoral student in chemical engineering, grew mouse embryonic stem cells in a bioreactor. Cell growth increased 193-fold in 15 days. At the end of that period, cell density – the number of cells that had grown in the bioreactor – was anywhere from 10- to 100-fold higher than the number of stem cells produced by conventional laboratory methods. That’s several hundreds of millions more stem cells.

Mass-producing cells like this could reduce stem cell production costs by at least 80 percent, Yang said, as it requires less equipment and monitoring. Embryonic stem cells are unspecialized, or undifferentiated, cells that can grow into any of the body’s 200 different types of cells. Yang and Ouyang presented their findings in San Diego on March 15 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

They grew some mouse embryonic stem cells in a flask – a conventional way to grow stem cells – while other stem cells grew upon strands of polymer threads inside a bioreactor. The bioreactor used in this study is a tissue-growing device developed by Ohio State scientists. While this bioreactor could be used to produce adult stem cells, the researchers chose to look solely at embryonic stem cells for this experiment.

"There’s more of a demand for an unlimited supply of embryonic stem cells," Yang said. Also, embryonic stem cells are pluripotent – they can become any kind of cell in the body, while adult stem cells usually develop into a type of cell based on the kind of tissue that they originated from.

The bioreactor has a chamber that holds the polymer threads on which the stem cells grow and another chamber that holds fluid, or medium. This medium delivers chemical messengers, called cytokines, to the stem cells. The cytokines essentially tell the stem cells to stay in their undifferentiated state.

The difference between growing stem cells in a flask vs. the bioreactor is that the cells grown in the bioreactor could grow in three dimensions, while cells growing on a flat surface – the bottom of the flask – could not. “Cells grown on a flat surface don’t act like they would in the body," Yang said. "The growing surface affects how a cell forms, what it looks like and even how it expresses genes."

Cells grown in the bioreactor could grow for a much longer period of time than they could in the flask, as cells had more room to grow in the bioreactor. "In the same amount of time we could grow up to a billion stem cells per milliliter in the bioreactor, compared to tens of millions of cells per milliliter with conventional systems," Yang said.

Also, it seems that embryonic stem cells grown by conventional methods are more likely to spontaneously differentiate, or change. Researchers aren’t sure why or how some stem cells differentiate without prompting.

Yang and Ouyang tested both sets of cells – the ones grown in a flask and those grown in the bioreactor – for two key proteins. The presence of these proteins indicates that a stem cell has not differentiated. In the bioreactor experiment, 94 percent of the stem cells tested positive for these proteins, compared to about 85 percent of the cells grown in the flask.

The researchers are now working on ways to program embryonic stem cells so that they differentiate into specific types of cells. In preliminary work, Ouyang has created a network of neurons from undifferentiated embryonic stem cells.

The next step is to use human embryonic stem cells, and the researchers have yet to decide which line of stem cells to use.

The mouse embryonic stem cells used in this study were provided by ATCC, an organization that supplies lines of embryonic stem cell lines.

Shang-Tian Yang | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.osu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>