Coordination: Joaquim Cabral, Paula Alves and Jonathan Dordick





The main objective of this course is to study the fundamental concepts and the applications of Bioengineering to stem cells and their derivatives. The following objectives should be accomplished: 1. Acquisition of the fundamental concepts related to Stem Cell Bioengineering. 2. Identification of the main Bioengineering strategies that can be used with stem cells. 3. Illustration of the application of the main Bioengineering strategies to different stem cell types (pluripotent, hematopoietic, mesenchymal and neural, among others).




1. Stem cell classification: totipotent, pluripotent and multipotent stem cells. 2. Pluripotent stem cells. Embryonic stem cells: sources and characterization. Induced pluripotent stem cells. Reprogramming strategies (viral and non-viral methods). Therapeutic cloning. Maintenance, propagation and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells in vitro. 3. Adult stem cells: examples. Expansion and differentiation of multipotent stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells. In vitro models of haematopoiesis. Mesenchymal stem cells. Neural stem cells. Intestine stem cells. Fetal stem cells. Neonatal sources of stem cells: amniotic membrane, umbilical cord blood and matrix, placenta, among others. Tissue engineering versus regenerative medicine. Cancer stem cells. 4. Large scale culture of stem cells. Bioreactor development for expansion and controlled differentiation of stem cells. Scaling up and Scaling out strategies. Stem cell culture on microcarriers, as 3D aggregates and through encapsulation. Biomaterials for stem cell culture. Planar and automated platforms. 5. Separation strategies for stem cell bioprocessing: methods for isolation and purification of stem cells and derivatives. 6. Stem cell cryopreservation strategies. 7. Microscale platforms for stem cell culture and separation: microarrays and microfluidic devices. 8. Application of systems biology concepts to in vitro stem cell culture.


Evaluation Methodology


70% - Presentation of a seminar comprising the critical analysis of a scientific article published in specialized journals.
30% - Writing of an Abstract Essay.