Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level



Biomedical Engineering


Samsonraj, Rebekah


Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) research has led to promising results, suggesting that these cells could effectively treat numerous diseases with their pro-healing properties. However, MSC heterogeneity has led to non-consistent outcomes in cell therapy investigations. This heterogeneity is dependent on multiple factors, some of which are the donor of the cells as well as the passage the cells are when the study takes place. Cell heterogeneity needs to be better understood so that MSC-related studies lead to similar results whether or not the same cell line was used. In this study, we assessed how the differentiation capacity and immunomodulation of MSCs are affected by repetitive passaging and donor-donor dependency. Cells from multiple donors were cultured and passaged until senescent. Then, they were differentiated into osteoblasts or adipocytes at young and old passages. Their differentiation capacity was assessed through histological staining and RT-qPCR targeting osteogenic-specific and adipogenic-specific genes. Immunomodulatory capacity was evaluated through Human Indoleamine-2,3-Dioxygenase (IDO) activity using an ELISA plate. Results show that the adipogenic differentiation capacity is strongly correlated to cell passage, having greater adipogenic differentiation at young passages. Osteogenic differentiation did not show a clear correlation between cell passage and the degree of differentiation, which suggests that this type of differentiation is highly dependent on both the cell donor and passage. Not enough information was collected to conclude a relationship between cell passage and immunomodulation capacity.


Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Cell heterogeneity, Senescence, Cell Passaging, Immunomodulation, Cell Differentiation

Available for download on Sunday, April 25, 2027