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Nat Protoc. 2010 Jun;5(6):1115-26. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2010.31. Epub 2010 May 27.

Isolation, differentiation and characterization of vascular cells derived from human embryonic stem cells.

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Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, Technion Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.


Herein, we describe a protocol for the isolation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs)-derived vascular cells at various stages of development. The cells are isolated from 10 to 15-d-old human embryoid bodies (EBs) cultured in suspension. After dissociation, cells are labeled with anti-CD34 or anti-CD31 (PECAM1) antibody and separated from the cell mixture by magnetic-activated cell separation (MACS) or fluorescent-activated cell sorting (FACS). Isolated vascular cells are then cultured in media conditions that support specific differentiation and expansion pathways. The resulting vascular cell populations contain >80% endothelial-like or smooth muscle-like cells. Assuming typical initial cell adhesion and proliferation rates, the entire procedure can be completed within 1.5 months. Vascular cells isolated and differentiated under the described conditions may constitute a potential cell source for therapeutic application toward repair of ischemic tissues, preparation of tissue-engineered vascular grafts and design of cellular kits for drug screening applications.

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