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Stem Cell

Learn how stem cell cultures benefit from physiologic oxygen with the information below.

Oxygen is a fundamental part of the stem cell niche. Physiologic O2 levels are far below those provided in most stem cell experiments (room air – 21% oxygen). In the body, stem cells experience a range of oxygen levels: mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) range 2-8% O2, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) at 1-6% oxygen, and neural stem cells (NSCs) from 1-8% O2. Human development occurs under low oxygen conditions and scientists optimize O2 conditions (2-5% O2) for experiments with embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Multiple benefits are reported for physiologic oxygen in stem cell cultures:

  • increase proliferation
  • maintain pluripotency
  • promote proper phenotype
  • streamline cell reprogramming
  • preserve stemness
  • increase yield
  • diminish spontaneous differentiation
  • decrease doubling time
  • boost self-renewal
  • control lineage commitment
  • modulate quiescence
  • enhance repopulating ability


Most stem cell experiments are performed under conditions never found in the body.

Researchers are using new tools for culture, handling, and analysis of stem cells under biologically relevant oxygen levels (or physioxia). Upgrading existing CO2 incubators with insertable O2-controlled chambers is an economical approach for optimizing oxygen in stem cell experiments. Even brief interruptions of physiologic O2 during culture maintenance in open hoods/BSCs alter stem cell function. To prevent this, physioxia (or hypoxia) workstations maintain constant control of O2, CO2, and Temp with interconnected incubators and hoods for all steps of cell incubation, handling, and analysis.

Cell Equipment

ProOx C21 & C-Chamber

Cell Research – physioxia / hypoxia chamber with static control of O2 and CO2ProOx C21 & C-Chamber

OxyCycler C42 & C-Chamber

Cell Research – physioxia / hypoxia chamber with dynamic control of O2 and CO2OxyCycler C42 & C-Chambers

Xvivo System

Cell Research – physioxia / hypoxia workstation, combined oxygen incubator and hood system, in vitro oxygen glove box, with independently programmable control of O2, CO2, and Temp in one (or more) modular incubator chamber and/or hood chambers – Xvivo System

Discover More

Blog Posts

Cytocentric Blog – Interview with Cytocentric Visionary: Roger Rönn – The Cell Environment for HSC from iPS: Why Every Hurdle Must be Overcome to Reach our Destination

Cytocentric Blog – Why Optimize MSC Cell Culture Conditions? Feed a Fibroblast, Starve a Stem Cell

Cytocentric Blog Interview with Cytocentric Visionary: Hal Broxmeyer, Indiana University – How the Shock of Room Air Oxygen Reduces Stem Cell YieldsHow the Shock of Room Air Oxygen Reduces Stem Cell Yields

Cytocentric Blog – Interview with Cytocentric Visionary: Dr. Heather O’Leary – Part One: Extraphysiologic Oxygen ShockPart One: Extraphysiologic Oxygen Shock


BioSpherix 2018 ISSCR – Physioxic Control of Cell Handling Conditions Reduces Variability for Human MSC

BioSpherix 2017 ISSCR – Full-Time Physioxic Control Maximizes Human MSC Expansion at the Individual Cell and Population-wide Levels</P

BioSpherix 2017 Perinatal Stem Cell Society Cord Blood Hematopoietic Stem Cell Function is Affected by In Vitro Oxygen


Zhidkova O, et al. Crosstalk of Endothelial and Mesenchymal Stromal Cells under Tissue-Related O2. International Journal of Translational Medicine. 2021; 1(2):116-136.

Nit K, et al. Oxygen as a Master Regulator of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Function and Metabolism. J Pers Med. 2021;11(9):905. doi:10.3390/jpm11090905

Browse 700+ Stem Cell Research publications citing oxygen equipment from BioSpherix Ltd

Lab References

Stem Cell Research at University of Iowa

Stem Cell Research at University of Bordeaux

Stem Cell Research at RESTORE (Toulouse)

Stem Cell Research at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Stem Cell Research at SUNY Upstate Medical University

Stem Cell Research at UC San Diego School of Medicine

Stem Cell Research at Syracuse University


Avoid Irrelevant Non-Reproducible Data, The Neglected Variable: Physiologic


Full-time Control of Conditions During Cell Handling Enhances the Growth of Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Cultures Alicia D. Henn1, Claudia Schwartz2, Shannon S. Darou1, Randy Yerden1 1 BioSpherix Ltd., Parish, NY, USA 2 Lonza Cologne GmbH, Koeln, Germany

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