Technologies in stem cell research
Initiators: Frank Emmrich (Leipzig) and Andreas Bosio (Bergisch Gladbach)
The breathtaking development of stem cell biology in the last 20 years has changed our general perception of cell biology and fuels the hope for novel therapeutic paradigms. It would certainly not have been possible without a number of new technologies which nowadays allows researcher to routinely extract, cultivate, sort, transduce, and analyze primary cells. However, many of these technologies are not mature and partially not ready for clinical use. Moreover, a wealth of novel technologies applicable to stem cell research is constantly being published opening up new possibilities.
In order to harness the power but also to further develop technologies for stem cell research the GSCN has set up a strategic working group “Technologies in stem cell research”. Here we would like to support scientists and fuel the further development of technologies by addressing the following questions:
- Which are the most critical (future) technologies that enable us to better understand, ease or streamline the:
_ generation, isolation and characterization of stem cells?
_ identification, isolation and propagation of tumor stem cells?
_ propagation (expansion) and banking of stem cells?
_ differentiation of stem cells?
_ transdifferentiation of somatic cells?
_ genetic engineering of stem cells?
_ tracking of stem cells and stem cell niches?
_ transfer of stem cell research to clinical applications?
_ directed delivery for pharmacological stem cell modulation?
_ control, quality and stability of stem cells?
- Which are the biomarker and assays most suited to define each of the different stem cell subsets?
While the complexity of stem cell technologies is increasing there is a need to join forces between experts and to give young researches access to existing technologies. One aim of the strategic working group is therefore to foster the interaction between stem cell scientists. By defining and harmonizing technologies of interest and giving a link to respective experts we envisage a platform, which not only allows to team up on complex scientific questions but also decides on and influences the future direction in stem cell technologies.