Logan Research: Stem Cell Energy Metabolism

An example of in vivo 31P NMR spectra, indicating the various energy metabolites that can be monitored with this technique.


Carbon metabolism is studied by combining NMR and mass spectrometry to determine the steady state and kinetic distribution of 13C-labeled metabolic tracers.

This work is supported by the FSU Office of the Vice President for Research.

Adult stem cells are pluripotent cells that can be differentiated into a variety of cell types. The biomedical community is extremely excited about the potential for using stem cells therapeutically.

This project is a collaboration with Dr. Teng Ma, in the College of Engineering at Florida State University. Dr. Ma has developed novel three dimensional bioreactors that provide a more natural growth environment for stem cells. Dr. Ma is interested in optimizing the design of these bioreactors to support growth and differentiation of stems cells into various tissue types, such as cardiomyocytes and chondrocytes.

We will collaborate to investigate metabolism in the cultured stem cells, relying on 31P and 13C NMR spectroscopy. Although this work is unrelated to my other research, it does build upon my doctoral research in which I used 13C NMR spectroscopy to investigate metabolism in plant cells exposed to various environmental stressors.

Students working on this project will learn the latest NMR methods for investigating metabolism. We are designing a bioreactor that will allow us to adopt Dr. Ma's three dimensional culture methods to growth in an NMR tube. We plan to use the NMR data to develop quantitative models of metabolism in undifferentiated stem cells and then use these same techniques to characterize metabolism as the stem cells differentiate into specific cell types.

For more information, see some of our recent publications:

  • Oxygen transport in 3D bioreactors. PDF | HTML
  • Nutrient supply in culturing hematopoietic cells . PDF | HTML
  • Hypoxia in 3D cultures of mesenchymal stem cells . PDF | HTML
  • Effect of pore size in 3D PET-based bioreactors . PDF | HTML

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