Stem cell research is moving along at a fantastic pace these days, with non-controversial sources being discovered at a seemingly increasing rate.
An important development came to our attention on BrightSurf.com’s news site. Dr. Noboru Sato, an assistant professor of biochemistry at UC Riverside, has created a way to grow human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), cells that can produce any type of adult cells in humans, without the use of animal-derived material.
Currently, the majority of researchers use animal-based materials for cell cultures, risking the transmission of viruses and pathogens to the growing hESCs. Sato has figured out how to use poly-D-lysine, a chemically synthesized extracellular matrix that the hESCs attach to, instead of the animal-derived Matrigel-coated culture plates typically in use now.
Not only is the poly-D-lysine cleaner, it is easier to work with and has a high rate of pluripotency, a term meaning that it helps hESCs with the ability to divide into specialized cells.
This study will appear online in the Aug. 20 issue of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE.