Friday, 4 January 2013

Possible new method for the identification of embryonic stem cells

Scottish researchers have discovered a new more effective method for identifying  embryonic stem cells from other more differentiated cells with a lower potency. Their method and their findings, were published yesterday in the AIP journal (American Institute of Physics), Biomicrofluidics.

Their method involves the use of an electric field of varying voltage frequency, that pulls ESCs trough a fluid. This proccess is called dielectrophoresis. During their experiments they studied the movement of the stem cells and how it was affected by the electric field. They later discovered that differentiated cells tend to store greater amounts of electrical charges when compared to stem cells.

According to the researchers, the different storage capacity is the result of alterations that occur on a cell's membrane as it differentiates from a stem cell to a more specific type of cells. They believe that their new identification method may be useful for separating and extracting embryonic stem cells for biomedical research

Picture of embryonic stem cells
Embryonic stem cells

Velugotla, S., Pells, S., Mjoseng, H., Duffy, C., Smith, S., De Sousa, P., & Pethig, R. (2012). Dielectrophoresis based discrimination of human embryonic stem cells from differentiating derivatives Biomicrofluidics, 6 (4) DOI: 10.1063/1.4771316

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