Industrial Applications of Stem Cells

  • Michael Roßbach
  • Manal Hadenfeld
  • Oliver Brüstle
Part of the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine book series (STEMCELL)


Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) can be differentiated into all somatic cell types, expanded to unlimited numbers and subjected to genetic modification. These properties provide novel perspectives for drug development and biomedical applications. The introduction of disease-specific mutations into these cells and their subsequent in vitro differentiation can be used to study the effect of candidate disease genes on cellular processes and responses to pharmaceutical compounds, thus representing an ideal tool to study human diseases. However, a large number of diseases is based on multiple and mostly unknown cellular alterations and can, therefore, not be adequately modelled using a candidate gene approach. The derivation of disease-specific cells from patients’ own tissues is an emerging new approach. One of the most promising routes in this regard is the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) by reprogramming cells derived, e.g., from patients’ skin biopsies. In analogy to hESC, these iPSC can be differentiated into any cell type. Thus, the availability of both hESC and iPSC provides unprecedented opportunities to generate virtually unlimited numbers of disease-relevant tissue-specific cells in vitro. Key prerequisites for a broad application of hESC- and iPSC-based cellular disease models are industrial methods to generate large quantities of highly purified cells in standardized formats. In this chapter we review the state of the art in stem cell industrialization and discuss innovative perspectives and future applications in this field.


Pluripotent Stem Cells Reprogramming Disease Modelling Drug Screening Regenerative Medicine 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Roßbach
  • Manal Hadenfeld
  • Oliver Brüstle
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Reconstructive NeurobiologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.LIFE & BRAIN GmbHBonnGermany

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