The use of stem cells in therapies for currently intractable diseases is an enticing prospect, but significant roadblocks exist. Challenges include how to define “potency” of a cell product, and how to predict the safety and fate of administered cells. We are developing tools for robust quantitation and long time tracking of stem cells in culture. Such tools will permit validation of putative stem cell markers and will aid the development of models for determining the probability of defined cell states occurring over time. This work will be performed in collaboration with imaging experts, modeling experts, and experts in in vitro constructs of extracellular matrix protein niches.
Stem cell; Pluripotency; Differentiation; Microscopy; Image analysis; Biological variation; Predictive models; Niche;