Innovation in the culture and derivation of pluripotent human stem cells

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2008 Oct;19(5):527-33. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2008.08.005. Epub 2008 Sep 15.


In recent years, substantial progress has been made in identifying culture conditions and specific molecular factors that maintain human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) in a self-renewing, pluripotent state. As science and medicine move closer to producing viable hESC-based therapeutics, effective methods of isolating and maintaining undifferentiated hESCs using clinically acceptable good manufacturing practices must be developed. In recent years, progress toward this goal has included the identification of molecular factors that induce or repress hESC self-renewal and the development of defined media that support long-term hESC expansion. In addition, the recent discovery of novel means to derive pluripotent cells that avoid embryo destruction, including induced pluripotent stem (iPS cells), may mitigate ethical concerns associated with the use of hESCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biotechnology / trends*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / trends*
  • Humans
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Tissue Engineering / trends*