Improved Ex Vivo Hematopoietic Stem Cell Culture System


Executive Summary


Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplants are widely used to restore a patients’ bone marrow or immune system suffered damaged due to radiation or chemotherapy. The regenerative capability of HSC therapy has been limited as only a few cells can be isolated and these cells do not expand in culture. Michigan State University has developed a novel technology that improves the ex vivo expansion of HSCs by 25 fold.


Description of Technology


This optimized hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) culture system vastly improves ex vivo expansion of HSCs derived from human cord blood. Culture media is supplemented with UM171 a pyrimido-indole derivative. Also, HSCs are culture under hypoxic conditions (5% O2) for three days, followed by normoxic conditions (21% O2) for 7 days. These culture conditions led to approximately a 25 fold expansion of HSC from the number of cells collected.


Key Benefits

  • Easy Implementation: Uses equipment and small molecule which are already readily commercially available.
  • Simple: Only requires one small molecule and oxygen manipulation as opposed to complicated sets of factors previously proposed.
  • Immune-Rejection Proof: Cells are cultured from a patients’ own HSCs so they will not be rejected from the immunSe system as donor cells often are



  • Cell Culture: Increased ex vivo expansion of limited HSCs pool for transplant back into patient with or without gene editing.
  • Research Tool: Increase HSC expansion useful for lab applications.
  • Cancer therapy: HSC transplant critical for patients after chemo or radiation therapy to rebuild the immune system.


Patent Status: 


Under review


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Dr. Said Omar, Dr. Peter Lillehoj


Tech ID: TEC2017-0050


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Bradley Shaw
Technology Manager
Michigan State University