Grants awarded

Achieving controlled human pluripotent stem cell derivation and expansion using Inter-alpha-inhibitor with a novel polymer substrate

Grantholder:

Dr Sara Pijuan-Galitó

University of Nottingham

United Kingdom

Clinical trials show that stem cell therapy can notably improve upon current treatment of a variety of health complications, such as macular degeneration or heart failure. However, a very high number of cells are needed per patient to achieve noticeable health improvements. Current stem cell production methods lack the capacity to produce the number of cells required for widespread medical applications in an economical, safe manner.

This project will combine the latest scientific discoveries to describe a new method for stem cell expansion that overcomes traditional liability  issues, such as unreliable raw materials and costly quality controls required before the stem cells can be used for cell therapy. I will first identify a culture scheme that can reduce inherent costs to become affordable, thoroughly establish the safety and appropriate stem cell behaviour in such a culture scheme, and then translate this method to large-scale expansion.

This study will pave the way to clinically safe human pluripotent stem cell lines and scalable culture conditions to make stem cell therapy a widespread, safe and reliable medical reality.