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After a number of days the ICM will be ready to subcultivate.
Tissue engineering requires cells that are easily isolated, sufficient in number, and have a defined and controlled phenotype; h ES cells are one of the most promising candidates (Cohen et al., 2006).
It is hoped that embryonic derived cardiomyocytes will be effective in treating disorders such a myocardial infarction.
The undifferentiated cells are then plated onto new culture dishes.
Successful propagation of the ICM is associated with the appearance of cells with undifferentiated h ES cell morphology (Sartipy et al., 2007).
However, there is a risk that the derivation and culture of h ES cells could produce epigenetic alterations, often leaving genomic regions susceptible to DNA methylation, which is known to be involved in tumour progression (Pannetier and Feil, 2007).
Clinical Potential of Human Embryonic Stem Cells: The potential of h ES cells to differentiate into all three germ layers and indefinitely replicate has raised hope that these cells could be a renewable source for cell transplantation in severe degenerative diseases (Hoffman and Carpenter, 2005).
The ICM is then washed thoroughly and propagated on the culture medium DMEM (Dulbeco’s modified Eagle’s medium) with a mouse embryonic fibroblast feeder layer (Laslett et al., 2003).
The use of alternative methods to culture h ES cells, such as feeder-free culture to prevent infection, has proved unsuccessful, producing sub-optimal cells (Skottman et al., 2006).
Many different avenues of research employ the use of h ES cells.
These include tissue-engineering, cardiology, treating spinal cord injury, testing drug toxicity, among others.