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Macao Researchers Develop Room Temperature Storage Technology for Stem Cell

May 05, 2017     Email"> PrintText Size

The University of Macao (UM) researchers developed a new way to store stem cells at room temperature for a minimum of seven days without the loss of viability and biological activities, the university's latest news release said on Thursday.

UM said its researchers from Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) has developed a technology which does not rely on the traditional cryopreservation method that requires costly equipment and tedious cryopreservation procedures, enabling cell storage and transport under ambient conditions.

Xu Renhe, a professor at the FHS of UM, has nearly two decades of research experiences in stem cells and their medical applications. He and his doctoral student Jiang Bin and postdoctoral researcher Yan Li, together with Dr. Chris Wong Koon Ho, an assistant professor at the FHS, engaged in the related research study titled "Spheroidal Formation Preserves Human Stem Cells for Prolonged Environment under Ambient Conditions for Facile Storage and Transportation."

The related paper has been published in Biomaterials, a renowned international journal in the field of biological materials.

The study found that preparing human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) to form spheroids with the hanging-drop method or other methods can reduce the cell metabolism and increase the cell viability.

Stored in a sealed vessel filled with regular culture medium, under ambient conditions without oxygen supply, the viability of hMSC in spheroids remained over 90 percent even after 11 days. This method is also applicable to higher pluripotent human embryonic stem cells.

With this new technology, only regular culture tubes and media, which cost only several U.S. dollars, are required for storing and shipping probably any type of stem cells and non-stem cells that can aggregate, within a temperature range from 10 to 37 degree centigrade.

Stem cells are found in various locations of the body such as bone marrow, blood, brain, spinal cord, skin, and corneal limbus. They are responsible for regenerating and repairing damaged tissues and organs in the body. (Xinhua)

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(Editor: LIU Jia)

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