Given their usefulness in basic research, the demand in the research community for induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells (or iPSC) is quickly growing. However, the process of developing and testing iPS cells is complex and requires sophisticated technical procedures and expertise, not readily available in many laboratories. Coriell has developed expertise establishing, testing, banking, and characterizing iPS cells, benefitting the research community at large. Coriell is well-positioned to meet the growing need for iPS cell biomaterials and to dramatically advance the field by streamlining the quality control process and ultimately, the cost of generating these powerful cells.
What cells can be used as the starting material for iPSC?
- Fibroblasts cells from skin
- Other cells from skin (keratinocytes, melanocytes)
- Bone marrow and blood stem cells
- Immune cells from blood (T cells)
After approximately four weeks from initializing the iPS cell transformation process, pluripotent stem cells can be observed, isolated, and expanded under cell culture conditions. The iPS cell colonies are very fragile and sensitive to manipulation.
Testing iPS cells to ensure they are pluripotent or have differentiated into the desired cell lineage is a critical step. IPS cells are examined to verify their conversion from adult stem cell to a pluripotent stem cell by testing their ability to become differentiated specialized cells such as bone, muscle, or neural cells. They must exhibit the ability to differentiate into any of the three germ layers that create all of the tissues and organs in a human, namely, the endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm.
As another validation measure, Coriell also looks at the DNA from other iPS cell lines to make sure there were no DNA rearrangements within the cell’s genome.
Coriell banks and characterizes iPS cells to support research worldwide. These powerful cells are now available to scientists for basic research, allowing them to create disease models to study specific mechanisms behind disease progression and approaches to treatment.
IPS cells can be created from genetically diverse populations to understand how drugs affect individuals (in vitro clinical trials). They can be also created from patients who experience adverse drug effects when taking various medications, to further study what pathways contribute to those undesirable adverse effects.
Why Does Coriell Bank Stem Cells?
Researchers can focus on answering the important research questions while Coriell’s Stem Cell Biobank performs the rigorous procedures necessary to isolate and validate stem cell lines for the research community at large.
The main focus of Coriell’s Stem Cell Biobank is banking of human induced pluripotent stem cells and mouse embryonic stem cells. Coriell has developed standard operating procedures to expand and characterize induced pluripotent stem cells lines and mouse embryonic stem cells lines submitted to the Coriell Stem Cell Biobank by researchers. This includes performance of quality control testing and assessment of pluripotency using a variety of technology platforms. The Stem Cell Biobank at Coriell strives to deliver highly characterized induced pluripotent stem cells and mouse embryonic stem cells with normal karyotype to the scientific community. We constantly evaluate current operating procedures to reflect necessary captures of the fast changing stem cell field.
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