Mass-producing stem-cells for stem cells for diagnostic and therapeutic applications

June 17, 2011

Todd McDevitt at the Georgia Institute of Technology and colleagues have found that adding biomaterials such as gelatin into clumps of stem cells (called “embryoid bodies”) affected stem-cell differentiation without harming the cells.

By incorporating magnetic particles into the biomaterials, they could control the locations of the embryoid bodies and how they assemble with one another.

Compared to typical delivery methods, providing differentiation factors — retinoic acid, bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) — via microparticles induced changes in the gene and protein expression patterns of the aggregates.

In the future, these new methods could be used to develop manufacturing procedures for producing large quantities of stem cells for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

The findings were presented on June 16 at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.