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Novel surface triples stem-cell growth in culture
Date:11/8/2011

FINDINGS: By irradiating typical polystyrene lab plates with ultraviolet (UV) waves, Whitehead Institute and MIT scientists have created a surface capable of tripling the number of human embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that can be grown in culture by current methods. Moreover, use of this novel surface eliminates the need for layers of mouse "feeder cells" to support ES- and iPS-cell growth.

RELEVANCE: Because of their ability to regenerate and to become almost any cell type in the body, ES and iPS cells hold promise for studying diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, screening potential drugs for these diseases, and possibly creating therapeutic cells for transplantation into patients with diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, or nerve or other tissue damage. Such techniques could require millions or even billions of cells, but current cell cultivation methods act as a bottleneck and are unable to efficiently produce such large numbers of cells.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Nov. 7, 2011) By irradiating typical polystyrene lab plates with ultraviolet (UV) waves, Whitehead Institute and MIT scientists have created a surface capable of tripling the number of human embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that can be grown in culture by current methods. Use of this novel surface also eliminates the need for layers of mouse "feeder cells" to support ES- and iPS-cell growth.

"Polystyrene is the most common cell culture surface used in labs, and to be able to do a simple treatment and get something that works better than the mouse feeder layers is great and potentially has a lot of utility," says Daniel Anderson, Associate Professor in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology.

The research is published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The promise of ES and iPS cells lies in their ability to rege
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Contact: Nicole Giese
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617-258-6851
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Source:Eurekalert

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