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Sigma-Aldrich Offers Customizable Synthetic Extracellular Matrix for Stem Cell Research

ST. LOUIS, Mo., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sigma-Aldrich(R) (Nasdaq: SIAL) today announced an agreement with Glycosan BioSystems for the sale of HyStem(TM), a fully customizable synthetic extracellular matrix (ECM) for stem cell research. HyStem offers researchers flexibility to tailor microenvironments for their cultured cells that mimic natural in vivo conditions, optimizing stem cell proliferation and differentiation. HyStem was developed by Glycosan BioSystems and will be sold by Sigma-Aldrich under a non-exclusive distribution agreement (

The HyStem platform consists of hydrogel cell culture scaffolds that provide a complex, three dimensional environment in which cells are able to proliferate, much as they would in vivo. Composed of hyaluronic acid and denatured collagen, HyStem's synthetic matrix offers greater control of the cellular environment than ambiguous extracted ECM alternatives. Customizable microenvironments enable researchers to optimize the growth conditions for each distinct cell type in a multicellular organism.

"Our HyStem ECMs provide a new level of control over the stem cell growth environment than what was previously available to the research community. We believe this ECM platform will greatly aid researchers in advancing global stem cell research," said Dr. David Smoller, President of Sigma-Aldrich's Research Biotech business unit. "Sigma-Aldrich provides more than 1,100 unique, highly-focused products to support every aspect of the stem cell research workflow, from isolation, characterization, expansion, differentiation and functional profiling to in vitro/in vivo tracking. The addition of HyStem products to our portfolio enhances our position as a leading source of technologies that support the growing stem cell market."

The HyStem platform includes three unique options: HyStem, HyStem-C and HyStem-HP. HyStem is available to researchers who want to customize their own attachment factors, ECM proteins and peptides, and who require an animal-component-free system with a minimal number of cell attachment sites. Researchers requiring a large number of generalized cell attachment sites for their stem cell cultures will benefit from HyStem-C. HyStem-HP is available for scientists planning to incorporate and gradually release growth factors into the stem cell environment. All options are consistently formulated and well characterized for both in vivo and in vitro experimentation.

Sigma-Aldrich's regenerative medicine experts continue to identify and develop promising technologies that support this rapidly-evolving research area. HyStem expands the Sigma-Aldrich portfolio of advanced stem cell research technologies, available through the company's web portal at

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Its biochemical and organic chemical products and kits are used in scientific research, including genomic and proteomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development and as key components in pharmaceutical, diagnostic and other high technology manufacturing. The Company has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 38 countries and has 7,800 employees providing excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to Accelerating Customer Success through Innovation and Leadership in Life Science, High Technology and Service. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning Web site at

Cautionary Statement: This release contains forward-looking statements relating to future performance, goals, strategic actions and initiatives and similar intentions and beliefs and other statements regarding the Companies' expectations, goals, beliefs, intentions and the like, which involve assumptions regarding the Companies' operations and conditions in the markets the Companies serve. The Companies do not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Sigma-Aldrich is a registered trademark of Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology LP and Sigma-Aldrich Co. HyStem, HyStem-C and HyStem-HP are trademarks of Glycosan BioSystems, Inc.

SOURCE Sigma-Aldrich
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