Expanding Human Embryonic Stem Cells Using human Adult (Marrow) Cells or Derived Molecules

All the existing human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are derived and propagated on mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). We established a method to derive and expand human cells (from adults) that can fully substitute MEFs in support of the growth of undifferentiated hESCs. The first type of human cells we tried is from bone marrow aspirate from adults (after a minor surgery). Adherent, fibroblastic marrow stromal cells (MSCs) were expanded selectively in culture. After 2 passages in culture, nearly homogenous hMSCs are obtained after an expansion of a thousand fold. MSCs can replace MEFs and support the growth of un-differentiated hESCs under the culture condition we devised. Therefore, we invented a clinically and ethically feasible method to vastly expand hESCs for treating human diseases, using adult human cells as a source of feeder cells or missing growth factors. The provisional application was filed on May 9, 2002, and a peer-reviewed research paper was published on March 2003 (ref 3). Since the submission of the provisional application and the research paper, we have extended the scope to other types of human fibroblast cells from other adult tissues. Some but not all the Non-MSC human fibroblast cells can also replace MEFs to support prolonged growth of hESCs. One line of human fibroblast cells was immortalized to allow permentant use. Currently we are working to identify bioactive molecules made by these supporting human feeder cells, which are required for survival and growth of hESCs in a pluripotent state. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) 1 Expand hESCs in animal (cell or serum) free culture conditions using feeder cells derived from adult tissues 2.Expand cells in feeder cell-free conditions using defined human proteins

Inventor(s): Cheng, Linzhao

Type of Offer: Licensing

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