The transformation of stem cell biology discoveries into viable cellular technologies has enormous promise to revolutionize a range of applications for many aspects of society. As a result, stem cell research is on the verge of broadly impacting a number of fields, including regenerative medicine, drug discovery & development, cell-based diagnostics and cancer.
Monitoring of stem cell phenotype. One challenge currently limiting the advancement of stem cell biomanufacturing is the lack of definitive quantitative metrics of stem cell “potency” and non-invasive, non-destructive terminal analyses of stem cell phenotype.
Propagation. Successful derivation of stem cells requires subsequent propagation of the cells in phenotypic and karyotypic stable manners that avoid xenogeneic-derived products. Propagation of different types of stem cells (ESCs, MSCs, iPS cells) are examined using both common and distinct cultivation systems.
Environmental regulation of differentiation. Stem cells are exquisitely sensitive to a variety of physicochemical cues present in the context of the microenvironment that can locally mitigate cell fate decisions. Therefore, directing stem cell differentiation efficiently requires systematic analysis and discrimination of the extracellular signals and intracellular pathways controlling the various aspects of cells that ultimately define phenotype.
Scalable processes. Successful translation of principles of stem cell propagation and differentiation must be transformed from bench-scale discovery into larger-scale systems capable of producing the volumes of cell derivatives necessary to supply commercially viable stem cell technologies.
Downstream processing. The development of larger scale processes to produce stem cells creates a need for efficient downstream processing to harvest, enrich and concentrate cells.