New technique allows production of large-scale stem cell cultures
Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a new technique for growing stem cells that would make large-scale stem cell manufacturing possible. Stem cells are typically grown on surfaces that must be scraped and which must be differentiated from other types of cells to prevent the stem cells from dying. This process is inefficient because it does not produce stem cells in high enough quantities to be cost effective. This new technique requires the use of a bioreactor, a device that creates stable environmental conditions. With the apparatus, the team reprogrammed mouse cells to become pluripotent stem cells and cardiac cells. In the bioreactor, the stem cells were grown in suspension, eliminating any problems like cell death or low harvest quantities resulting from growing cells on surfaces.