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J Cell Biochem. 2010 Nov 1;111(4):801-7. doi: 10.1002/jcb.22847.

Optimizing stem cell culture.

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1
INSERM U836, Grenoble Institut des Neurosciences, Université Joseph Fourier, CHU Michallon, 38042 Grenoble, France.

Abstract

Stem cells always balance between self-renewal and differentiation. Hence, stem cell culture parameters are critical and need to be continuously refined according to progress in our stem cell biology understanding and the latest technological developments. In the past few years, major efforts have been made to define more precisely the medium composition in which stem cells grow or differentiate. This led to the progressive replacement of ill-defined additives such as serum or feeder cell layers by recombinant cytokines or growth factors. Another example is the control of the oxygen pressure. For many years cell cultures have been done under atmospheric oxygen pressure which is much higher than the one experienced by stem cells in vivo. A consequence of cell metabolism is that cell culture conditions are constantly changing. Therefore, the development of high sensitive monitoring processes and control algorithms is required for ensuring cell culture medium homeostasis. Stem cells also sense the physical constraints of their microenvironment. Rigidity, stiffness, and geometry of the culture substrate influence stem cell fate. Hence, nanotopography is probably as important as medium formulation in the optimization of stem cell culture conditions. Recent advances include the development of synthetic bioinformative substrates designed at the micro- and nanoscale level. On going research in many different fields including stem cell biology, nanotechnology, and bioengineering suggest that our current way to culture cells in Petri dish or flasks will soon be outdated as flying across the Atlantic Ocean in the Lindbergh's plane.

PMID:
20803548
PMCID:
PMC3348118
DOI:
10.1002/jcb.22847
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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