The goal of this CIRM seed grant is to extend the potential of a new technology for stem cell studies by bringing to bear state-of-the-art microengineering techniques to the challenges of stem cell screening and selection. The completed system will provide a practical and flexible device with far-ranging applications. The capability to sort cells after experimental manipulation will fuel basic research by providing a means to establish new cell lines for stem cell study. The capabilities of the new instrumentation will enable greater precision and flexibility in the exposure of cells to growth factors to maintain cells in a sem-cell-like state of to differentiate cells into desired tissue types for regenerative medicine. Experiments are envisioned to more accurately recreate developmental events or the functions of stem cell in the living organism. Precise control of the cellular environment along with isolation of precursor cells for the treatment of a particular disorder would have a dramatic impact for medical applications.
The research to be funded by this CIRM Seed Grant has to potential to directly benefit the citizens of California. The funds will be used to develop a new instrument that stem cell researchers will utilize to test and select unique stem cells for either further study or to grow and apply to medical therapies. The technology has practical and widely applicable uses, so that many researchers in the academic and industrial laboratories of the state will receive benefit through increased efficiency of their studies and the ability to perform new types of experiments to better understand the biology of stem cells and how to use them for regenerative medicine. The research will also stimulate economic development through creation of intellectual property which will be owned by citizens of the California through the state university where the research will take place. This research and that of other investigators funded by these grants will enhance the state’s competitiveness in biotechnology research and development, thus furthering California’s lead in this important area of economic growth.