Neuron Regeneration Using Embryonic Stem Cells
Tech ID: 19870 / UC Case 2009-576-0
Neural stem cells offer great potential for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease; for treatment of neural dysfunctions such as dementia and epilepsy; and for repairing debilitating neural injuries such as brain traumas, spinal cord traumas, and strokes. However, adult stem cells for certain types of neural tissues are not available in sufficient quantities for commercial purposes. Embryonic stem cells may overcome this limitation, but growing neural cell types from them has been hampered by the difficulty in obtaining homogenous cell populations, in obtaining the glial cell subtype, and in obtaining a suitable culture media.
Moreover, the full regeneration of neuron tissue requires the correct geometric orientation of neural cells, not just the growth and differentiation of stem cells into the required neural cell types. On a normal culture surface, a neuron cell grown in vitro will extend its axons in all directions, thereby failing to replicate the parallel, cell-to-cell orientation of axons found in vivo. At present, there are no simple and economical methods available for growing, differentiating, and correctly orienting embryonic stem cells to regenerate functional neurons.
Scientists at the University of California, Merced (UC Merced) have invented a growth media supplement and a device for aligning cell growth, both of which facilitate quick, reliable, high yield production of neurons from embryonic stem cells. The growth media supplement, consisting of a few simple and inexpensive compounds that are added to standard growth media, facilitates a much more rapid and reliable differentiation of stem cells into neural cell types than is currently available. The alignment device consists of a thermoplastic sheet with a specially-modified surface that acts as a substrate for orienting the cells, so that neurons will form in parallel on the surface during the process of stem cell differentiation.
These UC Merced inventions could be commercially significant for enabling the manufacture of neuronal lineages useful for treating various neurological disorders and diseases and for repairing brain and spinal cord injuries, and for related medical research.
These inventions eliminate the need for the slow, labor intensive methods currently used for growing and differentiating embryonic stem cells to produce neuronal lineages. The growth media supplement reduces the time needed for the differentiation process from two to three weeks to just a few days. The alignment device is the first practical technology for regenerating neurons from stem cells in vitro that feature the correct in vivo orientation.
|United States Of America||Published Application||20110052548||03/03/2011||2009-576|
- Chao, Tzu-I
- Chen, Chi-Shuo
- Chen, Eric Yi-Tong
- Chin, Wei-Chun