Macromolecular Symposia

Cover image for Vol. 342 Issue 1

August 15, 2012

Stem Cells: Maintaining Stem Cells with Hydrogels

Stem Cells: Maintaining Stem Cells with Hydrogels

Yongxing Liu, Lyndon F. Charles, Thomas I. Zarembinski, Kalle I. Johnson, Sarah K. Atzet, Robin L. Wesselschmidt, Mark E. Wight, Liisa T. Kuhn*

Traditionally the maintenance and the propagation of stem cells require feeder cells like mitotically inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblasts or human fibroblasts. The use of these cells comes with some drawbacks like problems in large-scale culture, limited genetic manipulations of the human pluripotent stem cells, and xeno-contamination, particularly when mouse feeder cells are used. Widely used feeder-free systems like MatrigelTM are problematic as they might still carry xenogeneic pathogens and vary from lot to lot. Liisa Kuhn (University of Connecticut Health Center) and coworkers now showed that a fully defined gelatin-modified hyaluronan hydrogel (HyStem-CTM) is able to maintain mouse embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) in culture while retaining their growth and pluripotent characteristics. Modified HA hydrogels like the one shown here provide a safer direction towards completely animal-free conditions for clinical application, handling, and understanding of hPSCs.

Macromol. Biosci., DOI: 10.1002/mabi.201200043

Other contributions to the article series on stem cells can be found here.

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