High throughput characterisation of stem cell fates
During the very earliest stages of development in the womb, specialised cells known as pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) multiply, specialise and migrate to create different tissues and organs in the body, from lungs to liver, brain to bone. This remarkable ability has sparked plenty of interest in growing PSCs and other types of stem cell in the lab and turning them into fully-formed tissues for repair or regeneration. In order to do this safely and effectively, we need to know exactly how these cells behave in the lab to understand the signals that make them grow and send them down different developmental pathways. These neat patches are tiny colonies of PSCs growing on glass slides in specific patterns, ready for testing to see how they respond to various molecular signals. By examining hundreds of PSCs in this way, scientists can identify the best ones to take forward for further research.
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