Methods of Growing Cells

THERE ARE MANY different types of stem cells, and a variety of methods can be used to culture them. This discussion will focus on embryonic stem (ES) cells and the subsequent derivation of neural stem cells (NSCs). ES cells are a source of pluripotent stem cells, which means that they have the potential to give rise to all the cell types of an individual (over 200). In contrast, NSCs are an example of multipotent stem cells, which can generate a limited number of cell types—in this case, cells of the central nervous system, consisting of neurones, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes.

There are three key requirements for ES cell culture: Cells should remain undifferentiated and retain a normal karyotype (the number of chromosomes) and the ability to generate ...

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