Differentiating mouse embryonic stem cells into embryoid bodies by hanging-drop cultures

Richard Behringer, Marina Gertsenstein, Kristina Vintersten Nagy, Andras Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Embryonic stem (ES) cells can develop into many types of differentiated tissues if they are placed into a differentiating environment. This can occur in vivo when the ES cells are injected into or aggregated with an embryo, or in vitro if their culture conditions are modified to induce differentiation. There are an increasing number of differentiating culture conditions that can bias the differentiation of ES cells into desired cell types. Determining the mechanisms that control ES cell differentiation into therapeutically important cell types is a quickly growing area of research. Knowledge gained from these studies may eventually lead to the use of stem cells to repair specific damaged tissues. Many times ES cell differentiation proceeds through an intermediate stage called the embryoid body (EB). EBs are round structures composed of ES cells that have undergone some of the initial stages of differentiation. EBs can then be manipulated further to generate more specific cell types. This protocol describes a method to differentiate ES cells into EBs. It produces EBs of comparable size. This aspect is important because the differentiation processes taking place inside an EB are influenced by its size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1076
Number of pages4
JournalCold Spring Harbor Protocols
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

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