Ask the Expert – Using Luminex Technology to Non-Invasively Monitor Stem Cell Differentiation

By on October 17, 2016
Joy Aho

One of the challenges facing stem cell research and cell therapy applications today is the characterization and investigation of stem cell and differentiated populations. There are several options currently available for this type of investigation, for example, rt-PCR, western blot, immunochemistry, and flow cytometry. However all these methods are invasive, which means that valuable cells are lost during the process of characterization.

Recently, we published a Poster Article on “Predicting Differentiation and Characterizing Pluripotent Stem Cells Using Non-invasive Multi-analyte Luminex® Assays.” The article discusses a non-invasive method for cell characterization during differentiation. This method utilizes the flexibility of Proteome Profiler™ Antibody Arrays and Luminex® Assays to assess the expression of multiple analytes in cell culture supernates. Because this method uses cell culture supernates it is non-invasive and enables the detection of changes in cytokine expression throughout the progression of stem cell differentiation.

We received a good deal of interest from readers on this method, and so during this week’s Ask the Expert session, Dr. Joy Aho, Manager of Product Development for the Stem Cell and Cell Culture Department at R&D Systems, will be answering your questions regarding using Luminex Technology to monitor stem cell differentiation without using any invasive methods, including using this technology to assess secretion profiles and how those differences may provide a method for predicting differentiation success and cell line specific optimization of differentiation protocols. Dr. Aho received a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and has over 10 years of experience developing media, reagents, and differentiation kits for stem cells.

For more information on this technology, please view Dr. Aho’s webinar “How to Non-invasively Monitor Stem Cell Differentiation using Luminex Technology,” now available on demand.

As stem cell research moves closer toward therapeutic application, there is a recognized need to increase the quality and consistency of pluripotent stem cells and their derivatives. While variability in the efficiency of stem cell differentiation can undermine data interpretation and slow research progress, the ability to quickly monitor changes in cell phenotype without sacrificing yield continues to be a challenge. In this webinar, Richard Feurstenberg and Joy Aho discuss Luminex technology, its power as a non-invasive tool for monitoring stem cell differentiation, and its utility for troubleshooting and optimizing stem cell culturing and differentiation conditions.


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