Nanotechnology employed to improve stem cell cultures

18 July 2011

Posted by Michelle Devonshire

The processes used to grow stem cells could be improved by a method developed by scientists in the UK.

Researchers from the University of Glasgow and the University of Southampton have suggested the new way of cultivating regenerative medicine could result in further therapies being created in future.

The nano-patterned plastic surface has been reported in the journal Nature Materials, with the scientists claiming that it provides a cheap and easy solution to an ongoing problem relating to creating sufficient batches of cells when they are cultured in the laboratory using those harvested from adult patients.

Treatments for conditions such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and arthritis could be developed using the plastic surface, which provides a more effective material on which to grow stem cells.

"Our technology could be the first step on the road to developing large-scale stem cell culture factories which would allow for the creation of a wide range of therapies for many common diseases," the University of Glasgow's Dr Matthew Dalby explained.

In related news, Anne Milton, the UK's Public Health Minister, recently announced that an additional £4 million is being allocated to regenerative medicine, part of which will be used to fund NHS stem cell services.

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