The use of human pluripotent stem cells, including embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells, in therapeutic applications will require the development of robust, scalable culture technologies for undifferentiated cells. Advances made in large-scale cultures of other mammalian cells will facilitate expansion of undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), but challenges specific to hESCs will also have to be addressed, including development of defined, humanized culture media and substrates, monitoring spontaneous differentiation and heterogeneity in the cultures, and maintaining karyotypic integrity in the cells. This review will describe our current understanding of environmental factors that regulate hESC self-renewal and efforts to provide these cues in various scalable bioreactor culture systems.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Ying Nie for the images shown in Fig. 2 . Support was provided by a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship to SMA, National Science Foundation grant EFRI-0735903 , and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering grant R01EB007534 .
- Culture scale-up
- Human embryonic stem cells