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Methods. 2009 Feb;47(2):90-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2008.08.002. Epub 2008 Sep 15.

Parthenogenesis-derived multipotent stem cells adapted for tissue engineering applications.

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  • 1Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Winston Salem, NC 27157, USA.


Embryonic stem cells are envisioned as a viable source of pluripotent cells for use in regenerative medicine applications when donor tissue is not available. However, most current harvest techniques for embryonic stem cells require the destruction of embryos, which has led to significant political and ethical limitations on their usage. Parthenogenesis, the process by which an egg can develop into an embryo in the absence of sperm, may be a potential source of embryonic stem cells that may avoid some of the political and ethical concerns surrounding embryonic stem cells. Here we provide the technical aspects of embryonic stem cell isolation and expansion from the parthenogenetic activation of oocytes. These cells were characterized for their stem-cell properties. In addition, these cells were induced to differentiate to the myogenic, osteogenic, adipogenic, and endothelial lineages, and were able to form muscle-like and bony-like tissue in vivo. Furthermore, parthenogenetic stem cells were able to integrate into injured muscle tissue. Together, these results demonstrate that parthenogenetic stem cells can be successfully isolated and utilized for various tissue engineering applications.

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