In culture, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are defined as plastic-adherent, fibroblast-like cells which are able to self-renew and differentiate into bone, adipose and cartilage tissue. Optimized reagents are available for the differentiation of MSCs to adipocytes and osteogenic progenitors.
The colony-forming unit - fibroblast (CFU-F) assay is used to quantify functional mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). MesenCult™ media are optimized for the quantification of MSCs using the CFU-F assay.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) occur at low frequency in tissues and must be expanded in vitro to obtain sufficient numbers for research and therapeutic applications.
STEMCELL Technologies provides both serum-containing (for human and mouse cells) and serum-free (for human cells) MesenCult® media which are optimized for efficient expansion of MSCs in culture.
Due to the low frequency at which mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) occur in tissues, it may be desirable to enrich for MSCs from a mixed cell population. No single, unique marker allowing for MSC isolation has been reported, but rather a range of composite cell surface phenotypes are utilized. Consequently, typical isolation methods employ a strategy of enrichment via depletion of undesired cell types. Cell isolation kits are available to obtain untouched mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from human bone marrow or mouse compact bone or selection of CD271+ MSCs from human bone marrow.
Stem cell detection
The ALDEFLUOR™ reagent system is a non-immunological method to identify stem/progenitor cells on the basis of their aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity. It has been reported that ALDEFLUOR™ can be used for the identification of viable mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells. Only cells with an intact cellular membrane can retain the ALDEFLUOR™ reaction product, therefore only viable ALDHbr cells are identified. Dead and/or dying cells without intact cellular membranes will not be counted.