An evaluation index to compare stem cells



 There are currently no norms and therefore no standardisation governing the creation of stem cells. The Stem Cells journal reports that, in order to accelerate the industrial development of stem cells, "primarily for the preclinical evaluation of candidate drugs", scientists at Harvard University have developed an evaluation index for cardiac stem cells. Up until now, "as soon as a cell starts beating, its other characteristics are overlooked". 

Hence, since 2010, American biologists have focused on defining quality criteria. However, since the commercial human stem cells they receive cannot be used to carry out calibration tests due to their inequality, biologists have opted for induced (iPS) and murine embryo cells. Finally, they succeeded in isolating 64 parameters in order to globally evaluate the quality of a cardiac stem cell. 

Last, but not least, they developed "the Sheehy index" (named after the scientist) for the differential comparison of protocols.  This index combines "several quality parameters and evaluates whether a line is close to the embryo stem cells to varying degree". 
Scientists are now keen to adapt this technical platform to all manner of applications. The aim in producing a standard is "to improve the global quality of the cells produced and, downstream, to ensure the bio-engineering of stem cells on an industrial scale". 


Sources: 

  Information Hospitalière (Agnès Vernet) 07/03/2014