Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)

  • Complete workflow from tissue dissociation to MSC isolation, expansion, differentiation and immunomodulation assays
  • Automated dissociation of umbilical cord tissue
  • MSC expansion in xeno- and serum-free medium

Application protocols

Discover our different mesenchymal stem cell workflows and find the one that fits your experimental needs.

Application data by workflow step

Dissociation of umbilical cord tissue

Human umbilical cord tissue can be dissociated into a single-cell suspension by combining mechanical dissociation with enzymatic degradation of the extracellular adhesion proteins that maintain the tissue's structural integrity. Our Umbilical Cord Dissociation Kit, human and the gentleMACS Dissociators are the perfect combination for standardized and reliable dissociation of umbilical cord tissue.
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gentleMACS Dissociators: Start smart!

Get your research off to the right start. Rely on excellent sample preparation with the gentleMACS Dissociator family. Start your experiments off smart with standardized and reproducible tissue dissociation.


MSC expansion

Our cell culture options provide reliable solutions for the maintenance and expansion of MSCs with preserved differentiation potential and immunomodulation ability.

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StemMACS™ MSC Expansion Media Kit XF, human

  • Robust expansion of human MSCs in xeno- and serum-free conditions
  • No substrate pre-coating of the culture vessels required
  • No additional supplement or growth factors or serum required
  • Upgrade to MACS GMP medium possible to facilitate clinical translation


Phenotyping of in vitro expanded MSCs

The MSC Phenotyping Kit was developed for the standardized identification and phenotyping of cultured human MSCs by flow cytometry based on the defined ISCT standards.

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MSC Phenotyping Kit

Phenotyping based on the expression of CD73, CD90, CD105 and exclusion of CD14, CD20, CD34, and CD45 markers

Antibodies for isotype controls and compensation of PerCP, PE, APC, and FITC channels are included 


Differentiation of MSCs

We provide a variety of media options that support the differentiation of MSCs into adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes. The different StemMACS Differentiation Media are suitable for the analysis or quality control of the differentiation capacity of expanded MSCs, as well as in vitro studies focusing on the processes involved in MSC differentiation, including gene expression and protein profiling.

Adipocytes stained with Oil Red O after cultivation of MSCs for 21 days in StemMACS AdipoDiff Medium.
Osteoblasts differentiated from human MSCs after cultivation for ten days in StemMACS OsteoDiff Medium stained with NBT substrate.
Chondrocytes stained for aggrecan (red) and nuclei (blue) after cultivation of MSCs for 21 days in StemMACS ChondroDiff Medium.

Characterization of MSC immunomodulatory function

The suppression potential of MSCs varies among in vitro expanded cells and shows donor-dependent differences. MSCs can be “licensed” by inflammatory cytokines such IFN-γ and TNF-α to become more immunosuppressive and show a more homogeneous phenotype in this regard. The MSC Suppression Inspector, human was developed for standardized characterization of the immunomodulatory function of MSCs by co-culture with CD4+CD25 or CD4+ responder T (Tresp) cells.


Evaluation of T cell-specific immunmodulatory function of  PA-MSCs or CD271+ MSCs with the MSC Suppression Inspector, human
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MSC Suppression Inspector, human

The kit contains Anti-Biotin MACSiBead Particles pre-loaded with biotinylated CD2, CD3, and CD28 antibodies for optimal T cell stimulation.

Step-by-step protocol for Tresp isolation and stimulation, MSC-Tresp co-culture, and analysis of Tresp cell proliferation by 3H-thymidine incorporation, as well as carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE) staining.

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Application  note
Effective licensing of human mesenchymal stem cells

This application note describes the licensing of MSCs using IFN-γ and TNF-α and a procedure to analyze marker expression and the immunosuppressive characteristics of MSCs using the MSC Suppression Inspector, human.

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