The proven pluripotency of ES cells is expected to allow their therapeutic use for regenerative medicine. We present here a novel suspension culture method that facilitates the proliferation of pluripotent ES cells without feeder cells. The culture medium contains polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), free of either animal-derived or synthetic serum, and contains very low amounts of peptidic or proteinaceous materials, which are favorable for therapeutic use. ES cells showed sustained proliferation in the suspension culture, and their undifferentiated state and pluripotency were experimentally verified. DNA microarray analyses showed a close relationship between the elevated expression of genes related to cell adhesions. We suggest that this suspension culture condition provides a better alternative to the conventional attached cell culture condition, especially for possible therapeutic use, by limiting the exposure of ES cells to feeder cells and animal products.
ASJC Scopus subject areas