Culturing human and other types of stem cells require a feeder layer, i.e. a layer of cells under the cells that are grown, to support the nutritional requirements of the stem cells and to maintain their stemness i.e. to preserve their pluripotent stem cell nature.
Over the years, both human and animal cells have been used for this purpose. Human cells are preferable as they do not contain animal (e.g. mouse) genes, which may move into the overlying human cells, altering their behaviour.
Our collaborator Professor Kam Leong at the Duke-NUS Graduate School of Medicine, Singapore employed Cord Lining Stem Cells as a feeder layer for cord blood haematopoietic stem cells and we are pleased to report that this research has been a great success. It may be the standard for feeder layer support for other stem cell researchers in the future.