New tissue dissociation protocol for scaled-up production of neural stem cells in suspension bioreactors

Tissue Eng. May-Jun 2004;10(5-6):904-13. doi: 10.1089/1076327041348554.


The successful dissociation of mammalian neural stem cell (NSC) aggregates (neurospheres) into a single-cell suspension is an important procedure when expanding NSCs for clinical use, or when performing important assays such as clonal analyses. Until now, researchers have had to rely primarily on destructive mechanical methods such as trituration with a pipette tip to break apart the aggregates. In this study we report on a new chemical dissociation procedure that is efficient, cost effective, reproducible, and much less harmful to murine NSCs than both mechanical and enzymatic techniques. This method, involving the manipulation of environmental pH levels, resulted in 40% higher measured cell densities and 15-20% higher viabilities compared with mechanical dissociation. Moreover, chemical dissociation resulted in the production of significantly less cellular debris. Chemical dissociation was found to have no adverse effects on the long-term proliferation of the NSCs, which retained the ability to proliferate, form neurospheres, self-renew, and exhibit multipotentiality. This chemical method represents a new approach for the dissociation of tissues.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bioreactors*
  • Cell Aggregation / physiology
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Separation / methods*
  • Cell Size
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media / chemistry
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Mice
  • Neurons / chemistry
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Physical Stimulation / methods
  • Stem Cells / chemistry
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Tissue Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*


  • Culture Media