Nature Materials - Nanoscale surfaces for the long-term maintenance of mesenchymal stem cell phenotype and multipotency
The process of culturing is made more difficult by spontaneous stem cell differentiation, where stem cells grown on standard plastic tissue culture surfaces do not expand to create new stem cells but instead create other cells which are of no use in therapy. Currently, stem cell expansion is often boosted by immersing the cells in chemical solutions which help to increase the overall yield of stem cells but are limited in their effectiveness.
The new nanopatterned surface, developed and fabricated at the
Dr Matthew Dalby from the University of Glasgow, who led the research alongside colleague Dr Nikolaj Gadegaard and Prof Richard Oreffo of the
"If the same process can be used to culture other types of stem cells too, and this research in under way in our labs, our technology could be the first step on the road to developing large-scale stem cell culture factories which would allow for the creation of a wide range of therapies for many common diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. We’re very excited about the potential applications of the technology and we’re already in the early stages of conversations to make the surface commercially available."
Professor Richard Oreffo, who led the
"It is important to realise the ability to retain skeletal stem cell phenotype using surface topography offers a step change in current approaches for stem cell biology. The implications for research and future interventions for patients with arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases are substantial."
Professor Douglas Kell, Chief Executive, BBSRC, said: “Understanding how stem cells are affected by their environment is key to appreciating how they might be grown in sufficient quantities to be used in research or as therapies. This research shows that the physical surface that the cells are grown on can actually affect their fundamental biology in ways that are useful for us.
"Multidisciplinary research is increasingly important and this project is a great example where cell biology, medicine, and engineering come together in powerful synergy to solve a complex problem."