Scientists have created a 3D-gel for better cultivation of stem cells
Stem cells in recent years are a stumbling block sets teams of researchers from around the world. With their help scientists plan to treat a variety of diseases, including neurodegenerative. But there is one big but preventing the development of this area of science. Of course, we are talking about the cultivation of most cells. This process is not easy and very expensive. Staff at Stanford University managed to find a way to simplify the cultivation of stem cells and makes life significantly easier for scientists.
The modern ways of growing stem cells using 2D-surface technology. Obviously, this scientists need a lot of space. And speaking of "a lot", it really is a question of very spacious rooms. That is why it was decided to find an alternative method of saving space and costs of researchers. The answer was obvious: it is necessary to move from 2D to 3D-growing technology. Solution to the problem was found in the polymer gel, allowing the stem cells to grow in three dimensions, rather than in a single plane.
"For the growth of 3D-culture we need lab space of 16 square inches. For comparison: 2D-cultivation of the same number of stem cells would be taken away from us in the space of 16 square feet. The difference is more than 100 times. Impressive, is not it? "- shared with the press the chief author of the study Chris Madl, Dr. bioengineering laboratory at Stanford Heylshorn.
The new 3D-Gel allows stem cells interact with their environment, while remaining in contact with each other. Contact between the cells is very important, because without it, they quickly lose their regenerative properties and are unsuitable for use in the treatment. In addition, a new method of growing cells requires significantly fewer nutrients and energy. Currently new technology was tested only on neural stem cells which are useful for the treatment of damaged spinal cord or, for example, Parkinson's disease. In the future, scientists plan to test the technique on other types of stem cells.