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Zahara Mansoor has completed her masters in Regenerative Medcine at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo who is currently drafting her thesis and will be graduating next year in 2016.She is one of the pioneering Stem Cell Scientist in Sri Lanka where stem cell is still at its infancy stage.Prior to this, I have successfully completed a Bachelor of Science, in Biotechnology at University of Bangalore. She also won the 2nd place for the Best Poster Presentation at The Annual Research Symposium, University of Colombo, 2015.Her interest motivated to explore research opportunities in the field of Regenerative Medicine.


Mesenchymal Stem cells (MSCs) are plastic-adherent, fibroblast – like cells with specific surface phenotype, having ability to differentiate into osteoblasts, chondroblasts and adipocytes in-vitro. Umbilical cord (UC) is a readily available without ethical constraints, showing high proliferation rate and osteogenic potential. To derive MSCs from the human UC Wharton’s Jelly (WJ) and osteogenic differentiation was my main objective.Following obtaining ethical approval, five UCs from healthy mothers undergoing elective Caesarian sections were collected, cleaned with phosphate buffered saline, removed blood vessels,digested WJ in 0.5% collagenase 2-3 hours / 0.2% collagenase overnight and cultured in DMEM supplemented with 10% FBS, 1% L-glutamine and 1% penstrep at 37˚ C in 5% CO2. Cells are passaged at 70%confluency. At fourth passage (P4), osteogenic differentiation medium was added following incubation .Culture maintained for 21 days and cells were stained with 2% Alizarin red and von kossastains.MSCs were determined and characterized using Trypan blue test, Flow cytometry, RT-PCR and karyotypic analysis.Cells were were positive for CD90, CD73 and CD105 and negative for CD34 and CD45 markers expressing Oct-4 and G6PD genes. Karyotypes depicted were normal. Alizarin red stain gave bright orange red and von kossa stain gave black-brown deposits demonstrating the presence of extracellular calcium deposits.UC-MSCS serves as a suitable source for osteogenic regeneration Gene expression demonstrated the embryonic origin of the MSCs which maintained genomic stability upto P4 stage.So my initatiative stem cell research in Sri Lanka improves the therapeutic potential in bone defects and opens up new perspectives for bone tissue engineering.