Neurotrophic factors are known to protect neuronal cell death in several neurodegenerative diseases, both in in vitro and in vivo. They play a key role in development, differentiation, synaptogenesis, and survival of neurons in the brain as well as in the process of their adaptation to external influences. As such, they are essential growth factors in neuroprogenitor cell culture in vitro (Pluripotent stem cells). A sustained release of such factors in culture can be a challenge. Encapuslating them in polymer beads is an answer to this issue, as shown in this post introducing new StemBeads for BDNF and GDNF.
What are StemBeads®?
StemBeads® BDNF and GDNF are patented growth factors supplement that offer a novel way to culture cells with Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor more efficiently, with greater control and fewer medium changes. StemBeads® are microparticles composed of an FDA approved, biodegradable polymer that is loaded with either recombinant human Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor or Glial Cell Derived Neurotrophic Factor respectively.
Under the microscope, StemBeads® appear as small dark spheres that do not harm the cells, and with time, will break down while releasing the encapsulated protein at a controlled rate. Controlled delivery and stable levels of BDNF or GDNF improve cell cultures while saving researchers valuable time and resources. Medium change can be performed every 4-6 days depending on cell density and culture conditions, saving time and medium volume.
StemBeads® are provided as a ready-to-use, 1 mL solution in DMEM/F12. Stored at 4°C, they are stable for 6 months without loss of activity. Their average Particle Size is 10 μm diameter and can be customized upon request.
The illustration below demonstrates the sustained released of factors (BNDF first, and GDNF below) over a period of 72hrs. MAP2A density at 30 days on iPSC-Derived Cortical Neurons following addition of BDNF or GDNF StemBeads® or a combination of both factors is shown in the 2 pictures below:
How do you use StemBeads®?
Working with StemBeads® is very simple:
- Aliquot the desired volume of medium
- Mix the vial of StemBeads® thoroughly by vortexing or pipetting prior to use
- Add the StemBeads® into the aliquot of medium at the desired concentration*
- Remove the medium from the culture dish and wash the cultures twice with DMEM, PBS, F12 or basal medium
- Mix the medium containing StemBeads® well and add to culture dish
- Change the medium every 4-6 days, depending on cell density and culture conditions
*e.g. a concentration of 10 μL StemBeads® per 1 mL of medium will generate a 10 ng/mL release of soluble factor
The same StemBead technology is available for other factors used in Pluripotent Stem Cell research like FGF2 or Activin A.
Do you work in neuroscience research? You might also be interested in my recent post on neuro primary cells and iPSC models.
Feel free to contact me if you have any question or comments and I’ll be happy to discuss them with you!