Stem cells grown on scaffold of carbon nanotubes

6 February 2014

Scientists from the University of Surrey and the University of California have developed a developed a technique to grow human stem cells on a scaffold of carbon nanotubes.

These new building blocks mimic the surface of the body’s natural support cells to act as growing medium for stem cells. This means that cells that have previously relied on other living cells can now be grown safely in the laboratory, free of potential contamination, paving the way for revolutionary steps in replacing tissue after injury or disease.

 Dr Alan Dalton, senior lecturer from the Department of Physics at the University of Surrey said: “While carbon nanotubes have been used in the field of biomedicine for some time, their use in human stem cell research has not previously been explored successfully.”

“Synthetic stem cell scaffolding has the potential to change the lives of thousands of people, suffering from diseases such as Parkinson’s, diabetes and heart disease, as well as vision and hearing loss. It could lead to cheaper transplant treatments and could potentially one day allow us to produce whole human organs without the need for donors.”


Brunner EW et al. Growth and Proliferation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells on Fully Synthetic Scaffolds Based on Carbon Nanotubes. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces.

Harry Wood


To top