Renhe Xu

University of Macau


Stem Cell Spheres for Therapeutic Application


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been widely studied for their clinical applications. However, traditionally MSCs rely on donation of fetal or adult tissues. Following transplantation, dissociated MSCs are subject to immediate clearance by innate immune cells. We demonstrate that MSCs differentiated from human embryonic stem cells via trophoblast (EMSCs) have superior efficacy in mouse and monkey models of multiple sclerosis and mouse colitis models. Moreover, EMSCs in spheres enter “hibernation”, thus tolerating ambient conditions for over 10 days. Spheroidal, but not dissociated, EMSCs promote skin wound healing due to increased cell survival and CXCL12 signaling.


Dr. Xu is a professor and associate dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau. His research focuses on therapeutic applications of human embryonic stem cell derived mesenchymal stem cells (EMSCs), fate tracking of EMSCs in host under various pathological conditions, and immunogenicity and biosafety concerns over EMSCs. Prof. Xu has published more than 70 papers in biomedical journals including Nature Biotechnology, Nature Methods, Cell Stem Cell, and PNAS, which have received over 6,000 citations. He has also obtained a series of patents with successful commercialization as well as many awards from various countries.