Navigation Links
Predicting the fate of stem cells

University of Toronto researchers have developed a method that can rapidly screen human stem cells and better control what they will turn into. The technology could have potential use in regenerative medicine and drug development. Findings are published in this week's issue of the journal Nature Methods.

"The work allows for a better understanding of how to turn stem cells into clinically useful cell types more efficiently," according to Emanuel Nazareth, a PhD student at the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) at the University of Toronto. The research comes out of the lab of Professor Peter Zandstra, Canada Research Chair in Bioengineering at U of T.

The researchers used human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC), cells which have the potential to differentiate and eventually become any type of cell in the body. But the key to getting stem cells to grow into specific types of cells, such as skin cells or heart tissue, is to grow them in the right environment in culture, and there have been challenges in getting those environments (which vary for different types of stem cells) just right, Nazareth said.

The researchers developed a high-throughput platform, which uses robotics and automation to test many compounds or drugs at once, with controllable environments to screen hPSCs in. With it, they can control the size of the stem cell colony, the density of cells, and other parameters in order to better study characteristics of the cells as they differentiate or turn into other cell types. Studies were done using stem cells in micro-environments optimized for screening and observing how they behaved when chemical changes were introduced.

It was found that two specific proteins within stem cells, Oct4 and Sox2, can be used to track the four major early cell fate types that stem cells can turn into, allowing four screens to be performed at once.

"One of the most frustrating challenges is that we have different research protocols for different cell types. But as it turns out, very often those protocols don't work across many different cell lines," Nazareth said.

The work also provides a way to study differences across cell lines that can be used to predict certain genetic information, such as abnormal chromosomes. What's more, these predictions can be done in a fraction of the time compared to other existing techniques, and for a substantially lower cost compared to other testing and screening methods.

"We anticipate this technology will underpin new strategies to identify cell fate control molecules, or even drugs, for a number of different stem cell types," Zandstra said.

As a drug screening technology "it's a dramatic improvement over its predecessors," said Nazareth. He notes that in some cases, the new technology can drop testing time from up to a month to a mere two days.

Professor Peter Zandstra was awarded the 2013 Till & McCulloch Award in recognition of this contribution to global stem cell research.


Contact: Erin Vollick
University of Toronto

Related biology technology :

1. Expanded Findings for FirstMarks Completed Clinical Study for Predicting Near-Term (2-3 Years) MI
2. Physical cues help mature cells revert into embryonic-like stem cells
3. Cleaner and greener cities with integrated transparent solar cells
4. Direct induction of chondrogenic cells from human dermal fibroblast culture by defined factors
5. Researchers discover and treat toxic effects of ALS mutation in neurons made from patients skin cells
6. Global Stem Cells Group, Inc. Announces Worldwide Alliance with EmCyte Corp. to Promote In-office Regenerative Medicine Solutions
7. Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Announces the Launch of a Major Research Program Analysing the Global Market for Circulating Tumor Cells and Cancer Stem Cells
8. Histogen’s Method of Generating Multipotent Stem Cells Receives US Patent
9. New nanoparticles make solar cells cheaper to manufacture
10. Growing Industry in Technologies For Circulating Tumor Cells: Kalorama Report
11. Decellularized mouse heart beats again after regenerating with human heart precursor cells
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/8/2015)... -- Celemics, a global pioneer of personalized medicine genetics, ... with the establishment of Celemics America, Inc. ... , has secured itself in the global market ... preparation for DNA sequencing and genetic testing.  Next Generation ... testing more accurately, quickly, and cost effectively than traditional ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... 2015 The 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry ... at Dallas. Aziz Sancar , who earned his PhD ... in 1977, is one of three scientists who received the ... repair damaged DNA on a molecular level.  --> Aziz ... from UT Dallas in 1977, is one ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. (OTCQB: REPCF) (TSX.V: RP), ... development of autologous cell therapies, today announced its schedule of ... in the month of October: Stem Cell ... will be presenting at the annual Partnering Forum, part ... be held October 7-9 in La Jolla, ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Talon Innovations, a provider of Precision Machined Products ... it is one of three finalists for the Minnesota Business magazine’s Manufacturing Award in ... Talon Innovations was recognized as a nominee for this competitive award. , The ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
... DUBLIN , June 17, 2010 An ... hour blood,pressure is more accurate and consistent than a leading group of,international ... ... the study,analysed the interpretation of numerous blood pressure readings taken over a,24-hour ...
... becoming increasingly flatter - some have even become almost as ... dimensions, much to the delight of home cinema fans. Cellphones ... All of these developments owe their thanks to miniature light-emitting ... multitude of devices. However, LED technology does have a ...
... ... an occlusion-induced IR injury model enabling the ability to study the functional relevance of ... which the drug promotes myocardial protection. , ... (PRWEB) June 16, 2010 -- MD Biosciences , a ...
Cached Biology Technology:
(Date:9/28/2015)... September 28, 2015 According to ... & Software), Product (Scanner & Others), Application (Access Control ... & Others) & Geography Global - Forecast to 2020", published ... reach USD 3627.90 Million by 2020, at a CAGR ... Browse 65 market data T ables and ...
(Date:9/26/2015)...  Results of a TactioRPM pilot project in ... the Stanford Medicine X Conference. In a presentation ... Health Devices and Pharmacogenomics", Roger Simard , ... how senior patients equipped with connected health devices ... the TactioRPM remote patient monitoring platform were empowered ...
(Date:9/24/2015)... , September 24, 2015 ... september 2015 Kerv ( ... finanstjänster, lanserar idag världens första kontaktlösa betalningsring ... in 77 000 GBP för massproduktion via ... ) , Kerv-bärare kan ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
... part in the National Science Foundation,s (NSF) Faculty ... additional distinction as winners of Presidential Early Career ... 2006 competition. The PECASE program recognizes outstanding ... show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers ...
... wildfires can contribute as much as vehicles to carbon ... highly variable. New research published in the online open ... and suggests fires will complicate emissions monitoring and modelling ... Atmospheric Research and Jason Neff of the University of ...
... State University have designed a revolutionary laser technique which ... damaging human cells and may also help reduce the ... The research, published on Thursday November 1 in ... discusses how pulses from an infrared laser can be ...
Cached Biology News: