Cytocentric Blog

Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Cellular Therapies and Regenerative Medicine: Cytocentric oxygen control makes sense from the molecular level through to the bottom line.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have shown tremendous promise as a cellular therapy for indications as varied as arthritis [1], diabetes [2], cardiac disease [3], wound repair [4], graft-versus-host disease [5], ALS [6], spinal cord injury [7], even infectious disease [8, 9]. MSC also have the potential to transdifferentiate into multiple cell lineages for regenerative medicine applications [10]. But for MSC to live up to that promise, the best conditions for expanding and studying these critical cells in the laboratory must be established.



What Oxygen Level Should I Use for My Cells In Vitro?


Well, it depends.

Are you looking for physiological relevance or comparison with cells cultured in a standard room-air incubator?

First, you should know that there is nothing normal or “normoxic” about room air oxygen for cells that normally reside inside the body.In vivo, as soon as air enters the body, it mixes with CO2 being expired and the percentage of oxygen decreases.


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Biocontainment: Cells Need Technician Protection

“I’ve been handling cells this way for years and I’VE never gotten sick.”

How many times have you heard that, and doubted it?

Confidence in handling potentially dangerous cells, tissues, and vectors, can easily become complacency. Now in an uncertain era of CRISPR/Cas GMOs and gene drives, biocontainment and biosafety have taken on more urgency.


In Vitro Reproducibility and Experimental Conditions: Is There an Elephant in the Room Air?


If another lab tried to reproduce your results, would they fail?

It’s a scary thought.


Amongst the recent publications on the Crisis in Reproducibility, there has been extensive discussion of the importance of factors from raw materials through published reports. These include; improper statistics [1], experimental design, controls, reagent validation, and reference standards [2], cell line misidentification [3], animal cage environment [4], raw data availability [5], and data reporting [6].


Beyond equipment validation, only one author has addressed variability in the in vitro cell microenvironment, arguing that it is one factor that makes the push for replication unwise. [7]



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Cytocentric Visionaries: Tim Downing, PhD


Part Three: How Does the Question You Are Asking Change, in the Physiological Context, if You Are Not Working In Vivo?


This post contains excerpts from an interview that Dr. Alicia Henn, Chief Scientific Officer of BioSpherix, conducted with Dr. Timothy Downing. Our conversation was edited for brevity and clarity.


In the last post, we talked with Dr. Downing about how difficult it is to control for all of the factors that change when cells are removed from the body. Today we talk with him about his path to this point in his career.