Stem cell culture engineering

Fernando Ulloa-Montoya, Gargi Seth, Catherine M. Verfaillie, Wei Shou Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Stem cells have the capacity for self renewal and undergo multilineage differentiation. Stem cells isolated from both blastocysts and adult tissues represent valuable sources of cells for applications in cell therapy, drug screening and tissue engineering. While expanding stem cells in culture, it is critical to maintain their self-renewal and differentiation capacity. In generating particular cell types for specific applications, it is important to direct their differentiation to the desired lineage. In vitro differentiation of stem cells usually produces a mixed population of different cell lineages with the desired cell type present only at a small proportion. Use of growth factors that promote differentiation, and expansion or survival of specific cell types are key in controlling the differentiation towards specific cell lineages. Our limited knowledge of their growth conditions as well as lack of appropriate markers associated with different stages of differentiation hinders the widespread use of stem cells. However, a variety of bioreactors exist for cell cultivation that can be readily adapted to provide a well controlled environment for studying the process of stem cell propagation and differentiation. Here we review the advances made in the field of stem cell culture; and discuss the employment of different platforms for stem cell cultivation that will facilitate the advancement of stem cell science into the realm of application based technology in the foreseeable future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1052
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Chinese Institute of Engineers, Transactions of the Chinese Institute of Engineers,Series A/Chung-kuo Kung Ch'eng Hsuch K'an
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Adult stem cell
  • Bioreactor
  • Embryonic stem cell
  • Pluripotent
  • Stem cell culture

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