Kristen Rooker

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Moshe Khurgel

Degree Award Date

Spring 2009


Axolotl salamander, Stem Cells, Cultured, Isolated, Regenerating Limb, Blastema


Animal Sciences | Cell and Developmental Biology | Laboratory and Basic Science Research


The focus of this project was to establish a long-term culture of cells from the limb blastemas of the axolotl salamander. There were two specific aims: to find the best conditions for regular cell culture and to grow the cells in a three-dimensional culture model.

Three-dimensional culture models have many advantages over more traditional monolayer cultures. The main advantage to these methods is that the dissociated cells organize themselves. This allows them to form structures that more closely mimic tissue structure and function (Kelm and Fussenegger 2004). Such cultures also create a more permissive environment for cell differentiation and provide a better opportunity·for studying this process (Kelm and Fussenegger 2004). There is a growing interest in using these types of three-dimensional culture methods to model tissues and organs but so far this technique does not appear to have been used to model the regenerating blastema. If blastema cells could be induced to form three-dimensional spheroids, these could then be used to investigate the ability of blastema cells to proliferate and differentiate under controlled culture conditions and without the compounding variables associated with using in vivo models.