What is Embryonic Stem Cell Culture?

What is Embryonic Stem Cell Culture? Complete Guide

What is Embryonic Stem Cell Culture? Embryonic stem cell culture is a process that can produce ES cells from embryos. This technique was first used by Martin Evans, who created a new way to cultivate mouse embryos in the uterus. Evans’ method is now used to isolate ES cells from mouse embryos.

What is Embryonic Stem Cell Culture? Complete Guide
What is Embryonic Stem Cell Culture?

Table of Contents

What is Embryonic stem cell culture?

The study of embryonic stem cells has revealed several important characteristics that make them suitable for use in cell culture. These characteristics include being pluripotent, capable of self-renewal indefinitely, and maintaining a normal karyotype throughout their growth.

Furthermore, these cells are capable of differentiating into all three embryonic germ layers in vitro and teratomas in vivo. These cells are usually characterized by their characteristic appearance – tightly packed colonies with distinct borders and nuclei. Embryonic stem cells can also be identified in vitro by their high activity of alkaline phosphatase.

Read More: What does Adherent Cell Culture Mean? Comprehensive guide

Embryonic stem cell culture is a complex process that requires considerable time and attention. The cells are typically kept in continuous culture for years, and this type of culture requires daily attention. Traditionally, the culture of human embryonic stem cells has relied on similar conditions to those used for mouse ESC lines.

Embryonic stem cell culture Protocol

The first step in the culture process is to establish a viable hESC line. To accomplish this, the stem cells should be co-cultured with MEFs, which is a stem cell precursor. These cells must be exposed to growth factors and cytokines in order to maintain pluripotency. In addition, they must express the transcription factor Oct-4, which is associated with pluripotency in the ICM.

To culture iPSCs, the medium should be prepared with a ROCK inhibitor. Firstly, the medium should be collected into a conical tube and centrifuged at 200 x g for 5 minutes at room temperature. After the centrifugation, the supernatant should be aspirated. If the iPSCs are still exhibiting their clonal characteristics, they may be differentiated. If this occurs, these cells should be removed from the culture and passed to a different vessel.

Read More: What is Primary and Secondary Cell Culture? Complete Guide

Embryonic stem cell culture can be performed using either HFF or MEF feeder dishes. The MEF feeder dish medium contains 15% FBS. The culture medium should be at a pH 7.0 or higher. Then, the cells should be transferred to a 15-ml conical tube.

Characteristics of Embryonic stem cell Culture

Embryonic stem cells are believed to be pluripotent, meaning they can colonize any of the body’s tissues, including organs, skin, and blood vessels. These cells can be used in cell therapy, which involves replacing defective cells with healthy ones. Because they can be produced in large numbers, they are a potential source for producing cells for transplantation. In the past, cells for cell transplantation were only available in small quantities, such as from human organ donors’ cadavers.

Stem cells can be propagated in a variety of media. For example, feeder layers, extracellular matrices, proteins, and peptides, and synthetic polymers have all been used in the past to propagate pluripotent cells. However, the optimal culture matrices must allow for easy release and be compatible with sterilization techniques. These factors are especially important for stem cell cultures containing biological components, such as growth factors and peptides.

Read More: What is a Cell Culture? Application of Cell Culture?

Current Scientific Aspects of Embryonic stem cell Culture

Currently, the majority of stem cell research is focused on chemically defined, feeder-free matrices. However, these systems do not accurately mimic the in-vivo stem cell niche. In fact, studies have shown distinct differences in cell signaling in a two-dimensional versus three-dimensional (3-D) culture environment. These differences have led researchers to believe that embryonic stem cells are embedded in a dynamic 3D niche where they direct self-renewal and differentiation using specific signal molecules. In addition to signaling, the niche regulates matrix stiffness and establishes cytokine gradients.

Characteristics of embryonic stem cell culture are critical to the success of hESC therapy. These cells grow in tight colonies and have high nucleus-to-cytoplasm ratios. In addition, they express characteristic surface antigens, teratocarcinoma-recognition antigens, and pluripotency-specific transcription factors.

During the human embryonic development process, the cells divide several times before being assembled in a hollow sphere called a blastocyst. They then segregate into trophectoderm and the inner cell mass, which gives rise to the embryo proper. Human embryonic stem cells are isolated from these cells and cultured in vitro.

Read More: Methods to Estimate Confluency in Cell Culture? Complete Guide!

ES cells in culture are capable of acquiring chromosomal abnormalities. Therefore, it is essential to perform karyotyping and genetic analyses of these cells regularly. Genetic drift, a process that occurs over a period of years, can lead to changes in the cells. However, such changes can only be detected if these cells are analyzed shortly after they are obtained.

Challenges in Embryonic stem cell Culture

While the process of creating a successful embryonic stem cell line has many benefits, it also presents challenges.

Maintaining pluripotency

One of these challenges is the ability to maintain the pluripotency of the cell line. This is important because stem cells have the potential to differentiate into various types of cells. For example, a stem cell can become a muscle cell, an active cell in the immune system, or a structural cell in bone.

Another challenge is the lack of understanding about embryonic stem cells and their development. Scientists must learn more about how the embryonic stem cell develops before they can use it for research and development.


A third challenge is that embryonic stem cells are likely to be rejected by the body. Furthermore, some people find using human embryonic stem cells morally troubling. Adult pluripotent stem cells are also difficult to culture in the lab, and their DNA is not always correct.

Read More: How to Maintain Sterility in Cell Culture Lab? Complete Guide


There is also the issue of contamination. Currently, human embryonic stem cells are derived from a single hESC line, which increases the risk of infection. Furthermore, since stem cells can self-renew, a single line of hESC may be transplanted into a number of patients, thereby raising the risk of transmission of infectious pathogens.

Xeno-transmitted infections

In addition, the use of animal products in embryonic stem cell culture has a number of drawbacks. These include the risk of xeno-transmitted infections and immune reactions. Despite these limitations, there are many advances in using xeno-free culture systems.

Despite these challenges, human embryonic stem cells still have enormous promise for the treatment and diagnosis of degenerative diseases.

Applications of Embryonic stem cell Culture

The applications of embryonic stem cell culture span a range of fields. These cells can be used for various purposes, including research into developmental processes such as embryonic development, stem cell self-renewal, and differentiation. The techniques can also be used to find new drugs that target degenerative diseases.

Read More: Genetic Toxicology Guide


ES cell culture has been shown to be very effective in the generation of neural precursors such as neurons and oligodendrocytes. The technique used in ES cell culture also has shown the ability to generate human hepatocytes, morphologically similar to primary hepatocytes and expressing several hepatocyte markers. In addition, it has been shown that human ES cell derivatives can be used to generate bone, muscle, blood, cartilage, and connective tissues.


The two main methods are used to produce human ES cells. The first is known as mechanical, while the second is referred to as enzymatic. Both methods are suitable for mass-production of human ES cells. Both methods are relatively quick and simple. However, the enzymatic method is typically used for large-scale experiments.

Cell-based therapies

The application of embryonic stem cells in cell-based therapies is currently in its infancy, and the challenges it poses are numerous. Nevertheless, a number of new strategies have emerged from these studies. For example, a new stage of hES cells has been identified in the rosette stage, which exhibits plasticity and differentiates into many different types of neuronal cells in response to developmental signals. The cytoarchitecture of neural stem cells is unique in this stage, and this allows them to be distinguished from other types of stem cells.


Another useful application of embryonic stem cell culture is in toxicology. Studies have shown that human embryonic stem cells can be used to screen a number of chemicals for developmental toxicity. In fact, this type of research has been used to assess a number of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. In addition to being a tool for early drug development, embryonic stem cells are also used to assess the toxic effects of new compounds on animals.

Read More: Drug Development-How are the Drug developed and tested for Toxicity?

Cell replacement therapy

Another potential application of embryonic stem cells is cell replacement therapy. These cells are capable of producing patient specific cells that are needed for genetic diseases. Moreover, they can serve as a model to study disease conditions.

Latest Post