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MIT technology jump-starts human embryonic stem cell work

he team seeded some arrays with hES and some with embryonic muscle cells.)

Each seeded microarray can then be placed in a different solution, including such things as growth factors, to incubate. "We can simultaneously process several microarrays under a variety of conditions," Anderson said.

Another plus: the microarrays work with a minimal number of cells, growth factors and other media. "That's especially important for human embryonic stem cells because the cells are hard to grow, and the media necessary for their growth are expensive," Anderson said. Many of the media related to testing the cells, such as antibodies, are also expensive.

In the current work, the scientists used an initial screening to find especially promising biomaterials for the differentiation of hES into epithelial cells. Additional experiments identified "a host of unexpected materials effects that offer new levels of control over hES cell behavior," the team writes, demonstrating the power of quick, easy screenings.


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Contact: Elizabeth Thomson, MIT News Office
thomson@mit.edu
617-258-5402
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
13-Jun-2004


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