" /> Feeder-free culture of rat embryonic stem cells — Edinburgh Innovations

Feeder-free culture of rat embryonic stem cells

This quick and simple method for the culture of rat embryonic stem (ES) cells does not rely on the use of feeder cells, making it more cost effective, and easier to use for ES cell manipulation (in vitro) and generation of transgenic rats and knockouts.



  • Pharmacology – drug screening
  • Transgenics – genetic manipulation


A datasheet describing the protocol for the feeder-free culture of rat embryonic stem cells will be provided following acceptance of the University’s Open Technology standard terms and conditions.


Researchers in the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute have developed a novel culture protocol that allows the stable propagation of rat embryonic stem (ES) cells under feeder-free conditions for extended periods in culture (> 30 passages).

Under these conditions the cells remain karyotypically stable and retain their capacity for multilineage differentiation in vitro, as well as in vivo, as demonstrated by their capacity to reintegrate into an appropriately staged host embryo, and generate a chimaeric animal.

To date, routine maintenance of rat ES cells has required co-culture with a feeder layer of mouse fibroblasts. Previous attempts to culture rat ES cells in the absence of such a feeder layer have failed to maintain the cell culture for more than five passages.

The protocol we have devised will simplify rat ES cell culture including in vitro genetic manipulation technologies, as well as accelerating studies to understand the basic mechanisms that regulate rat ES cell growth.


  • Simplifies routine culture
  • Removes a source of potential variance
  • Drug selection not dependent on feeder cell resistance


  • UK Patent Application GB09/22428 entitled “Cell Culture” (Lapsed)


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