Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) show great potential and versatility in regenerative medicine and new therapeutic approaches to fight disease. Patient-specific, individualized treatments using stem cells have even been generated for a number of diseases. Although further research into hPSCs is needed in order to harness their full potential, preserving the stem cells and storing them in the large numbers required for research has proved difficult.
Teruo Akuta and colleagues at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, together with scientists from the Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation, have now developed a cost-effective, efficient and reliable slow-freezing method for preserving hPSCs in large numbers with a high survival rate.
Vitrification, which involves the use of cryoprotectants to chill cells to low temperatures without freezing, and conventional slow-freezing techniques are currently used for the cryopreservation of hPSCs. “Vitrification using liquid nitrogen is a highly skilled task,” notes Akuta, “and is not…
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