Microfluidic isolation of CD34-positive skin cells enables regeneration of hair and sebaceous glands in vivo

Beili Zhu, Yaakov Nahmias, Martin L. Yarmush, Shashi K. Murthy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Skin stem cells resident in the bulge area of hair follicles and at the basal layer of the epidermis are multipotent and able to self-renew when transplanted into full-thickness defects in nude mice. Based on cell surface markers such as CD34 and thea6-integrin, skin stem cells can be extracted from tissuederived cell suspensions for engraftment using the gold standard cell separation technique of fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). This paper describes an alternative separation method using microfluidic devices coated with degradable antibody-functionalized hydrogels. The microfluidic method allows direct injection of tissue digestate (no preprocessing tagging of cells is needed), is fast (45 minutes from injected sample to purified cells), and scalable. This method is used in this study to isolate CD34-positive (CD34+) cells from murine skin tissue digestate, and the functional capability of these cells is demonstrated by transplantation into nude mice using protocols developed by other groups for FACS-sorted cells. Specifically, the transplantation of microfluidic isolated CD34+ cells along with dermal and epidermal cells was observed to generate significant levels of hair follicles and sebaceous glands consistent with those observed previously with FACS-sorted cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1354-1363
Number of pages10
JournalStem cells translational medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© AlphaMed Press.


  • CD34-positive stem cells
  • Microfluidic devices
  • Nude mice
  • Skin graft site


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