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Human Embryonic Stem Cells: challenges and novel approaches

Tuesday, 2 March, 2010 - 17:00
Campus: Brussels Health Campus
Faculty: Medicine and Pharmacy
auditorium P. Brouwer
Ileana Mateizel
phd defence

Human ESC are pluripotent cells derived from the
preimplantation embryos that have unlimited
self-renewal and differentiation potential and
therefore represent a highly attractive, renewable
source of cell populations for different

The thesis presents the successful derivation of
22 hESC lines derived at the VUB/UZ Brussel
from In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and
Preimplantation Genetics Diagnosis (PGD)
embryos, as well as from single blastomere

Culture conditions for hESC are still suboptimal
and may induce chromosomal abnormalities. We
have demonstrated that CD30, a marker
previously reported to identify the chromosomally
abnormal hESCs, is expressed in all hESC lines
and is not correlated with the presence of
chromosomal abnormalities. We concluded
therefore that CD30 is not a good tool for purging
abnormal cells from hESCs cultures and that
other biomarkers should be investigated.

In addition, we reported the efficient
differentiation of hESCs into a highly homogenous
population of osteoprogenitor-like cells that may
facilitate the large-scale production of
differentiated cells for different applications,
including cell-based therapy.

The last part of the thesis points to the major
challenges that need to be addressed during the
translation from bench to clinic, and to the novel
approaches that are being developed to meet
those challenges.