Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Artificial Matrix Hydrogel Culture Surfaces for Embryos and Embryonic Stem Cells

Technology #3175

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Human Embryonic Stem CellsPetri dish cell cultureNatural Protocols for Cell Culture ResearchPetri dish for human embryonic stem cell researchstem cells hESC
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Researchers
Joerg Lahann
Managed By
Kristen Wolff
Senior Licensing Specialist, Medical Devices 734-647-5604
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
Publications
New Culture Dish Could Advance Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Science Daily June 2010, 2010
Xeno-free Expansion Platform for Human Embryonic Stem Cells
University of Michigan Biomedical Engineering (project description),
Synthetic Hydrogels For Controlled Stem Cell Differentiation
Soft Matter 2010, 6, p.67-81 (abstract), 2010
New Petri Dish Coating to Boost Stem Cell Research
Softpedia June 2010, 2010

This cell culture or Petri dish coating is a water-soluble, fully synthetic hydrogel that provides a stable environment for the growth and sustenance of healthy human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).

This stem cell growth matrix can be used for long-term growth of human embryonic stem cells while maintaining all of the cells' known normal functions. The cells maintain their normal genetic makeup and pluripotency, which means they can still become any cell type of the human body. This sustained predictability maximizes the stem cells' value in research to develop new therapies. 

A research team led by University of Michigan chemical engineering professor Joerg Lahann tested six different polymer coatings to come up with the water-soluble gel that performed well when attached to the Petri dish, even after 25 rounds of harvesting stem cells to grow new colonies.

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Culture Dish Coating is Synthetic, Lacks Animal-Based Components that Hinder Research 

This new stem cell culture dish growth matrix is completely synthetic and doesn’t contaminate the stem cells with foreign substances that could interfere with their normal function. 

Because this polymer coating has no biological components, it eliminates the risk and uncertainty of commonly used animal-based coatings, which can contaminate the human embryonic stem cells and hinder the related stem cell research.

Stem cell lines grown on animal-based substances like Matrigel, which is made from mouse tumors, tend to vary from batch to batch. This makes it difficult for disease researchers to study how the stem cells differentiate, which is critical to their work on new disease therapies.

“These non-defined, animal-based components create issues with the FDA [US Food and Drug Administration] and hinder clinical applications,” professor Lahann explained in a university news release about the  hESC cell culture dish coating.

Non-Biological Cell Culture Dish Coating Enables Research on Cell Replacement, Tissue Replacement, and Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease, Liver Disease, Cardiovascular Disease

This fully synthetic, fully chemically defined hydrogel Petri dish coating can grow and sustain a renewable source of healthy cells and tissues for a variety of research and therapeautic uses:

  • The treatment of conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, blood cell disorders and cardiovascular disease
  • Generation of cells and tissues for use in transplantation
  • Replacement of diseased cells and tissues
  • Studies of early cell lineage/ developmental biology
  • Model systems for drug discovery and toxicology screening

The coated cell culture dishes are easy to manufacture, sterilize, and scale up, and they can be stored at room temperature for extended periods.

Applications

  • Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, blood cell disorders and cardiovascular disease

  • Generation of cells and tissues for use in transplantation

  • Replacement of diseased cells and tissues

  • Studies of early cell lineage/ developmental biology

  • Model systems for drug discovery and toxicology screening

Advantages

  • Synthetic hydrogel cell culture substrate is highly reproducible and stable
  • Cell culture system devoid of non-human biological materials that can hinder research
  • Can be stored at room temperature  for extended periods.