Ex Vivo production of platelets from stem cells

Mauro P. Avanzi, William Beau Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Stem cell technology holds great promise for transfusion medicine, and generation of platelets from stem cells would be transformative. Platelet transfusions are life saving for millions of people and the clinical demand for platelets continues to increase: there is a real need to increase the supply of platelets. Accordingly, there is great interest in the potential of producing platelets from stem cells for clinical use. There has been initial success in ex vivo generation of platelets from stem cells using cord blood stem cells, embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. However, the platelet yields achieved by these strategies have not been sufficient for clinical purposes. This review provides updated information about the current strategies of ex vivo generation of platelets. Megakaryocytopoiesis and platelet generation, along with the importance of genetic determinants of these processes, are reviewed in the context of efforts to generate these products from stem cells. Current challenges and rate-limiting steps in ex vivo platelet generation are discussed, together with strategies to overcome them. While much work remains, great progress has been made, moving ex vivo generation of platelets ever closer to the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Megakaryocyte
  • Megakaryocytopoiesis
  • Platelet
  • Stem cells
  • Transfusion medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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