Generation of Sheffield (Shef) human embryonic stem cell lines using a microdrop culture system


The conventional method for the derivation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) involves inner cell mass (ICM) co-culture with a feeder layer of inactivated mouse or human embryonic fibroblasts in an in vitro fertilisation culture dish. Growth factors potentially involved in primary derivation of hESCs may be lost or diluted in such a system. We established a microdrop method which maintained feeder cells and efficiently generated hESCs. Embryos were donated for stem cell research after fully informed patient consent. A feeder cell layer was made by incubating inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) feeder cells in a 50 microl drop of medium (DMEM/10% foetal calf serum) under mineral oil in a small tissue culture dish. MEFs formed a confluent layer and medium was replaced with human embryonic stem medium supplemented with 10% Plasmanate (Bayer) and incubated overnight. Cryopreserved embryos were thawed and cultured until the blastocyst stage and the zona pellucida removed with pronase (2 mg/ml; Calbiochem). A zona-free intact blastocyst was placed in the feeder microdrop and monitored for ES derivation with medium changed every 2-3 d. Proliferating hESCs were passaged into other feeder drops and standard feeder preparation by manual dissection until a stable cell line was established. Six hESC lines (Shef 3-8) were derived. From a total of 46 blastocysts (early to expanded), five hESC lines were generated (Shef 3-7). Shef 3-6 were generated on MEFs from 25 blastocysts. Shef7 was generated on human foetal gonadal embryonic fibroblasts from a further 21 blastocysts. From our experience, microdrop technique is more efficient than conventional method for derivation of hESCs and it is much easier to monitor early hESC derivation. The microdrop method lends itself to good manufacturing practice derivation of hESCs.

Authors Aflatoonian B, Ruban L, Shamsuddin S, Baker D, Andrews P, Moore H
Journal In vitro cellular & developmental biology. Animal
Publication Date 2010 Apr;46(3-4):236-41
PubMed 20224972
DOI 10.1007/s11626-010-9294-2

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