3D System For Differentiation Of Oligodendocyte Precusors From Pluripotent Stem Cells

Tech ID: 25307 / UC Case 2016-018-0

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20180251730 09/06/2018 2016-018
Patent Cooperation Treaty Published Application WO2017062374 04/13/2017 2016-018

Brief Description

Cell replacement therapies using have long been thought to have the potential to treat demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis or hypomyelinating leukodystrophies - as well as spinal cord and other CNS injuries that involve inflammation and loss of myelin. While pluripotent stem cells represent a potential source of readily available regenerative tissue, they require labor-intensive culturing to differentiate into target cell types.  Since Oligodendrocyte precursors cells (OPCs) can migrate, engraft and differentiate when experimentally transplanted onto unmyelinated axons, OPCs have been seen as the future of cell replacement therapies for demyelinating diseases.  However, as there is currently no reliable and sustainable source of transplantable OPCs, their therapeutic potential cannot be harnessed.


Researchers at the UC Berkeley have created a 3-dimensional, chemically defined biomaterial system for the large-scale differentiation of OPCs. By systematically optimized chemical cues, this strategy rapidly generated Olig2 and NKX2.2-positive cells with the same efficiency of other protocols, but in a shorter period of time (approximately 18 days instead of 30). This shortened 3D differentiation protocol, which results in up to 2-4 times more cells, enables a significant reduction in the cost of production of pre-OPCs.


Suggested uses

  • Therapy for demyelinating diseases
  • Research studies of human demyelinating diseases 


  • Shortened differentiation protocol
  • More cells
  • Reduction in cost

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  • Schaffer, David V.

Other Information


stem cells, oligodendocyte, cell replacement, therapeutics

Categorized As