Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Media for cultivation of epidermal tissue for grafts

Technology #1761

“Lead Inventor: Rebecca Morris, PhD

Culturing of hair follicles and epidermal tissues in skin grafts:
Media that permit in vitro cultivation of murine and human epidermal cells are advantageous for developing physiologically accurate models of skin and hair growth and are preferred when growing epidermal cells for human therapeutic purposes, such as skin grafts. The cultivation has been difficult to achieve in the absence of unpurified biological components, like serum, that increase the risk of adverse effects. It is important to establish simple and long lasting chemically defined culture conditions which support the growth and differentiation of epidermal and follicular cells, particularly human cells and skin explants used to develop skin grafts.

Cell culture media for animal epidermal cells, hair follicles and other skin substructures:
This technology establishes the chemical compositions of cell culture media for in vitro cultivation of animal epidermal cells including hair follicles and other skin substructures. Details of the medium preparation are defined as are the methods for co-culturing hair follicle cells and epidermal substructures like sebaceous and eccrine glands. In addition, the technology includes systems for identifying test compound effects on skin and hair growth and methods for the cultivation epithelial cells in the media.

In vitro cultivated animal epidermal cells can be used for a variety of applications:
• Human skin grafts for burn patients that include hair follicles and other epidermal substructures.
• Gene therapy and bioengineering techniques.
• Development of physiologically accurate skin and hair growth models in vitro.
• Testing of compounds that effect skin and hair development and growth.

Advantages of the media conditions established by this technology over currently available animal cell culture media include:
• Full chemical definition and no unpurified biological components.
• Simple to prepare and longer shelf-life.
• Low ratio of sodium to potassium, preferable for epidermal and epithelial cell cultivation.
• Support co-cultivation of hair follicles and other epidermal substructures for better skin grafts.

Patent Status: Patents Pending (US20080261259, US20080268490, WO2006113629) ~ see links below.

Licensing Status: Available for Licensing and Sponsored Research Support