Clonal growth of human stem cells from a single dissociated cell, and without the need for added animal and other components, is reported online this week in Nature Materials. This rapid and quantitative method could lead to the easy generation of cloned cultures of clinically important single cells, opening up the possibility for use in gene manipulation and for various therapeutic purposes.
Daniel Anderson and colleagues describe a high-throughput combinatorial array method for analysing hundreds of polymer substrates to find structure-function relationships between the chemistry of the substrate surface and the response of the stem cell. They discovered culture substrates that can be used to clonally expand fully dissociated single human pluripotent stem cells ― that is, that have the ability to differentiate into any cell type ― and induced pluripotent stem cells in an environment without feeder cells and animal components. Avoiding usage of these additional components may reduce the risk of immune rejection problems.