"It is also the first defined medium to allow for long term single-cell passage," said the paper's senior author, Hong Wu, the David Geffen Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a researcher with UCLA's Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research.
Single-cell passaging a process in which hES cells are dissociated into single cells and subcultured through single-cellderived colonies is important in overcoming the massive cell death associated with hES cell dissociation during routine passage, and it allows for genetic manipulation at the clonal level.
"Although other studies have demonstrated growth of hES cells under defined media formulations and/or on defined surfaces, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that combines defined cultures with routine single-cell passaging, which plays an important role in supplying a large mass of clinically applicable cells," said Hideaki Tsutsui, a UCLA postdoctoral scholar and lead author of the study. "Thus, our hES cell culture system, guided by the FSC technique, will bring hES cells one step closer to clinical therapies."
Initially, the very large number of small molecules in the culture medium and their unknown synergistic effects made it difficult for researchers to assess the proper concentration of each for achieving long-term expansion of hES cells. The major challenge was to find the best way to sort out those molecules and rapidly determine the best combinatorial concentrations.
The breakthrough, ultimately, was the product of a close interdisciplinary collaboration.
Tsutsui, then a UCLA Engineering graduate student, and Bahram Valamehr, then a graduate student at the Geffen School of Medicine, started working on the project two years ago. Armed with biological readouts and analyses of stem cells mastered in Hong
|Contact: Wileen Wong Kromhout|
University of California - Los Angeles