Original Paper

Cell and Tissue Banking

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 423-435

First online:

Characterization of cultured epithelial cells using a novel technique not requiring enzymatic digestion for subculturing

  • Antonio PeramoAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, University of MichiganDepartment of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Michigan Email author 
  • , Stephen E. FeinbergAffiliated withDepartment of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Michigan
  • , Cynthia L. MarceloAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, University of Michigan

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Our laboratory had developed a methodology to expand epithelial cells in culture by growing keratinocyte monolayers, under large volumes of medium that produces large numbers of keratinocytes that leave the monolayer and move into suspension. The cells have been defined as epithelial Pop Up Keratinocytes or ePUKs cells and appear to be highly suitable for clinical applications. In this publication we extend the characterization of the cells with a detailed analysis of the capabilities of the monolayer of a single culture flask to produce, over time, ePUK cells. The cells were characterized using standard epithelial markers for proliferation and differentiation. Analysis of morphology of the monolayer formed and total number of cells produced is presented for a variety of human epithelial cell strains. These keratinocytes provide an additional controlled human cell system for investigation of the mechanisms regulating epithelia cell growth and differentiation and since they are produced in large numbers, they are highly suitable for use in epithelial cell banking.


Keratinocyte ePUK Epithelia cell Cell culture Oral mucosa