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Regen Med. 2011 Sep;6(5):623-34. doi: 10.2217/rme.11.54.

Developing defined culture systems for human pluripotent stem cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, University of California at Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Human pluripotent stem cells hold promising potential in many therapeutics applications including regenerative medicine and drug discovery. Over the past three decades, embryonic stem cell research has illustrated that embryonic stem cells possess two important and distinct properties: the ability to continuously self-renew and the ability to differentiate into all specialized cell types. In this article, we will discuss the continuing evolution of human pluripotent stem cell culture by examining requirements needed for the maintenance of self-renewal in vitro. We will also elaborate on the future direction of the field toward generating a robust and completely defined culture system, which has brought forth collaborations amongst biologists and engineers. As human pluripotent stem cell research progresses towards identifying solutions for debilitating diseases, it will be critical to establish a defined, reproducible and scalable culture system to meet the requirements of these clinical applications.

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