STEMCELL Technologies Delivers a New Method for Identifying and Quantifying Neural Stem and Progenitor Cells In Vitro

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The NeuroCult® Neural Colony-Forming Cell Assay increases accuracy of studying neural stem cells in vitro and therefore, the evaluation of the therapeutic potential of neural stem cells.

STEMCELL Technologies, a leader in specialized cell culture media, cell separation products and ancillary reagents for stem cell research, today announced a landmark publication that improves the identification and quantification of neural stem and progenitor cells.

"The NeuroCult® Neural Colony-Forming Cell Assay is an improvement over the widely used Neurosphere Assay because it provides researchers with a reliable way to detect alterations in neural stem cell frequency, which is necessary for evaluating the cells' therapeutic potential," states Dr. Sharon A. Louis, Senior Scientist at STEMCELL Technologies. "Our findings imply that while the Neurosphere Assay provides a simple means to isolate and expand neural stem cells harvested from the embryonic and adult mammalian CNS, its application as a quantitative in vitro assay for measuring NSC frequency is limited. Presently, the Neurosphere Assay is the most frequently adopted method for isolating, expanding and calculating the frequency of neural stem cells, so our findings will impact highly cited research performed using this method."

The new NeuroCult® Neural Colony-Forming Cell Assay is a significant advancement in the neural stem cell field because it discriminates between neural stem cells and neural progenitor cells based on the size of the colonies they form (proliferative potential), allowing researchers to easily and accurately distinguish and quantify these cell populations in vitro.

The results of this study are published in the article "Enumeration of Neural Stem and Progenitor Cells in the Neural Colony-Forming Cell Assay" in the April, 2008 issue of Stem Cells. Click here to access the full paper through open access.

The NeuroCult® Neural Colony-Forming Cell Assay was developed by Dr. Sharon Louis and Dr. Brent A. Reynolds at STEMCELL Technologies with further work performed in collaboration with Dr. Brent A. Reynolds and researchers at the Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Australia. Partial support was also provided from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia project grant and a Pfizer Australia Senior Research Fellowship to Rietze R. L.

For basic information about neural stem and progenitor cells, visit

Diane Miller
STEMCELL Technologies
T. 604.877.0713

About STEMCELL Technologies
STEMCELL Technologies is a privately owned biotechnology company located in Vancouver, British Columbia that provides specialized cell culture media, cell separation products and ancillary reagents for stem cell research. For more information about STEMCELL Technologies visit


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Diane Miller
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