Author(s): Parsons XH
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Abstract Developing novel strategies for well-controlled efficiently directing pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) exclusively and uniformly towards clinically relevant cell types in a lineage-specific manner is not only crucial for unveiling the molecular and cellular cues that direct human embryogenesis but also vital to harnessing the power of hESC biology for tissue engineering and cell-based therapies. Conventional hESC differentiation methods require uncontrollable simultaneous multi-lineage differentiation of pluripotent cells, which yield embryoid bodies (EB) or aggregates consisting of a mixed population of cell types of three embryonic germ layers, among which only a very small fraction of cells display targeted differentiation, impractical for commercial and clinical applications. Here, a protocol for lineage-specific differentiation of hESCs, maintained under defined culture systems, direct from the pluripotent stage using small-molecule induction exclusively and uniformly to a neural or a cardiac lineage is described. Lineage-specific differentiation of pluripotent hESCs by small-molecule induction enables well-controlled highly efficient direct conversion of nonfunctional pluripotent hESCs into a large supply of high-purity functional human neuronal or cardiomyocyte cell therapy derivatives for commercial and therapeutic uses.
This article was published in Methods Mol Biol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Diabetes & Practice