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Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2012 Mar;8(1):163-9. doi: 10.1007/s12015-011-9278-y.

Basement membrane matrix (BME) has multiple uses with stem cells.

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Trevigen Inc., 8405 Helgerman Ct., Gaithersburg, MD 29877, USA.


The utilization of basement membrane matrix has helped to overcome many of the obstacles associated with stem cell research. Initially, there were several problems with investigating stem cells, including difficult extraction from tissues, the need for feeder layers, poor survival, minimal proliferation, limited differentiation in vitro, and inadequate survival when injected or transplanted in vivo. Given that the basement membrane is the first extracellular matrix that is produced by the developing embryo, it was quickly identified as an important factor for modulating stem cell behavior, and since then, basement membrane extract (BME) has been successfully employed in numerous methods as a substratum in vitro and as a bioactive support in vivo to overcome many of these problems. A thin BME coating is sufficient to maintain an undifferentiated phenotype during embryonic stem cell expansion, while a thick BME hydrogel may be employed to induce stem cell differentiation. BME also promotes stem cell survival for in vivo applications and provides a physiological environment for evaluating stem cell co-culture with other cell types. The present article provides a concise review of current methodologies utilizing BME for stem cell research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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