Pluripotent stem cell models of early mammalian development


Pluripotent stem cells derived from the early mammalian embryo offer a convenient model system for studying cell fate decisions in embryogenesis. The last 10 years have seen a boom in the popularity of two-dimensional micropatterns and three-dimensional stem cell culture systems as a way to recreate the architecture and interactions of particular cell populations during development. These methods enable the controlled exploration of cellular organization and patterning during development, using cell lines instead of embryos. They have established a new class of in vitro model system for pre-implantation and peri-implantation embryogenesis, ranging from models of the blastocyst stage, through gastrulation and toward early organogenesis. This review aims to set these systems in context and to highlight the strengths and suitability of each approach in modelling early mammalian development.

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Volume 66
Pages 89-96
Available online
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