Stem Cell Banks: Reality, Roles and Challenges

  • Glyn Stacey
Part of the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine book series (STEMCELL)


Human embryonic stem cell lines have the capability to develop into cells representative of the three germ layers of the human body, which has raised the possibility of exciting new opportunities for in vitro research and the development of therapies for the future. However, it is vital that in these pursuits researchers are aware of certain critical issues in sourcing cell lines to ensure that their work provides data of a high standard and does not lead to confusion and that any future use of the cells – such as clinical application – is not compromised by the conditions under which the cells are developed. Stem cell banks have been much discussed in the literature and would appear to have a significant role to play in this important area of endeavour. This chapter places the current development of stem cell banking against the history of bioresource centres and culture collections. It also identifies the different types and roles that stem cell banks may have and as a case study describes the particular remit of the UK Stem Cell Bank and how this influences its policies and procedures. The author goes on to explain the importance of careful development of cell line procurement procedures, the need for standardised banking protocols and the challenges for appropriate supply of pluripotent stem cell lines. In conclusion, the author outlines the importance of international collaboration between the developing network of stem cell banks giving examples of standards (e.g. that may develop from such activity.


Cell banking Quality assurance Governance Stem cell lines Quality control 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glyn Stacey
    • 1
  1. 1.UK Stem Cell BankNational Institute for Biological Standards and Control-HPAHertsUK

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