Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC)
Pluripotent stem cells (PSC) have the differentiating capacity to serve as the starting point for wide-ranging research into tissue development, drug discovery and toxicology, disease progression, and regenerative medicine.
For cell therapies, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) banks derived from “universal” donors offer the promise of less costly, more rapidly available, and more tightly controlled allogeneic therapies.
At Bio-Techne, our mission is to deliver innovative solutions that enable cell and gene therapies to reach more patients.
About Pluripotent Stem Cells and Cell Therapy
Regenerative medicine and immune cell therapy offer revolutionary promise for the treatment of degenerative diseases, pathogenic genetic defects, tissue damage, and cancer. To produce these cell therapies, somatic cells are recovered from the patient (for autologous therapies) or from immune-compatible donors (for allogeneic therapies) followed by reprogramming to an undifferentiated state by using small molecules. The resulting iPSCs have the capacity to differentiate into multiple cell lineages of the endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm germ layers.
An effective cell therapy product requires long term viability and functionality, the ability to home to the correct target tissue, and the ability to evade host immune rejection. Cell and gene therapies that are based on live cells are classified as advanced medicine therapeutic products (ATMPs) which require extensive quality control testing because of their inherent variability.
Listen as Tenielle Ludwig, Director of the WiCell Stem Cell Bank, defines correct use of the terms stemness and pluripotency. These terms are often used interchangeably by researchers and within scientific publications. Dr. Ludwig discusses how consistent use of this nomenclature can positively impact the field of pluripotent stem cell research.
Use the icons below to navigate products and services for each step of the iPSC workflow
Terminally differentiated somatic cells can be easily recovered from a variety of tissues (e.g. skin fibroblasts or peripheral T cells) and used for generating iPSC.
Somatic Cell Reprogramming to iPSC
After reprogramming cells to iPSC, confirm their phenotype by the detection of appropriate stemness markers. See Cell Characterization below on this page.
Verification of stemness marker expression by multi-color flow cytometry. Human cells were stained using reagents included in the Human/Mouse Pluripotent Stem Cell Multi-Color Flow Cytometry Kit and simultaneously analyzed for SSEA-1, SSEA-4, Oct-3/4, and SOX2. The strong expression of SSEA-4 and Oct-3/4 but not SSEA-1 indicate the undifferentiated status of these cells.
iPSC Expansion and Culture
Careful selection of high quality media components enables robust iPSC expansion with high viability and long term maintenance of the undifferentiated state.
- ExCellerate iPSC Expansion Medium
- Growth Factors for iPSC Expansion
- Small Molecules for ES/iPS Cell Expansion
- Cultrex Stem Cell Qualified Basement Membrane Extract (BME)
- Cultrex Basement Membrane Extracts and Extracellular Matrices
- StemXVivo™ Mouse PSC Media Kit
- Stem Cell Media and Supplements
- Mouse Embryonic Fibroblast (MEF) Conditioned Media
Human iPSC cultured in ExCellerate™ iPSC Expansion Medium maintain the expression of stemness markers over long-term culture. These cells express undifferentiated stem cell markers Oct-3/4 (red) and TRA-1-60 (red) along with F-Actin (green) and DAPI (blue) (A). iPSC lines express high levels of Oct-3/4, SSEA-4, SOX2, and no SSEA-1 as assessed by the H/M Pluripotent Stem Cell Multicolor Flow Cytometry Kit (B-C). Undifferentiated stem cell marker expression is >97% across 4 cell lines after more than 45 passages. Graph shows average ± standard deviation.
Gene Engineering for iPSC
Direct visualization of TcBuster-transposed iPSC using the DNAscope™ Assay. Detection was based on a DNAscope probe targeting the TcBuster vector backbone. Wild type iPSC (A), mixed population of TcBuster-transduced iPSC (B), selected clone isolated from the mixed population (C).
Pluripotent Stem Cell Differentiation
Simplify batch bridging during extended cell differentiation processes with reagents strictly qualified for lot-to-lot consistency.
Immunocytochemistry of neurons differentiated from iPSC by using the StemXVivo Neural Progenitor Differentiation Kit. Neurons are indicated by Neuron-specific beta-III Tubulin (TUJ1) expression (A), neural progenitors by Pax6 (B), and undifferentiated iPSCs by Oct-3/4 (C). Quantification of images at day 10 and 32 of neuronal differentiation grown on Vitronectin and in ExCellerate iPSC Expansion Medium.
Serum-Free and Animal-Free Cell Culture
Increase the consistency of your cell cultures as you approach translational studies for regenerative medicine and cell therapy programs. Adopting these media will
- Reduce variability in media composition
- Simplify compliance with regulatory guidelines
- Simplify comparability testing for raw material changes
Cell product qualification is important from start to finish with iPSC programs. Keep a close eye on cell phenotype, secretory profile, culture heterogeneity, and the presence of contaminating particles.
Pluripotent Stem Cell Characterization Kits and Antibodies
- Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Functional Identification Kit
- GloLive™ Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Live Imaging Kit
- Human/Mouse PSC Multicolor Flow Kit
- Proteome Profiler™ Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Array Kit
- Human Three Germ Layer 3-Color Immunocytochemistry Kit
- GloLive Antibodies to Verify Pluripotency in Live Stem Cells
- Human Plurpotent Stem Cell Marker Antibody Panels
Analytical Instrument Platforms and Immunoassays
Single-Cell Western analysis of neuronal differentiation from iPSC. Each dot represents a single cell. iPSC were treated with GMP SB 431542 and GMP Recombinant Human Noggin, followed by terminal differentiation with GMP Recombinant Human FGF, GMP N-2 MAX Media Supplement (100X), and ascorbic acid. Cells were analyzed for Pax6 and Neuron-specific beta-III Tubulin (Tuj). In iPSC, Pax6 was undetectable and 46% of the cells expressed Tuj, while 85% of neurons were Tuj+ Pax6+. See our application note for more details.
We’re committed to providing optimized solutions to optimize your iPSC workflow. Our custom services team will work with you to deliver reagents and immunoassays that fit your process. Importantly, we have experience developing certified animal-free (AF) reagents as custom projects in cases where AF grade is not otherwise available. We’re experts in the requirements for regulatory compliance as well as custom formulation, vialing, and packaging.
For inquiries regarding specialized iPSC services, contact a specialist at Custom Solutions for Cell & Gene Therapies.
Translational Programs for Cell Therapy
When it’s time to advance your cell therapy product to clinical manufacturing, partner with us for reliable, quality, and/or custom services. We will work with you to provide reproducible production of reagents and assays at clinical scale, with complete documentation. We offer GMP reagents as well as 21 CFR Part 11-compliant analytical instruments for automation and high throughput. We can help you streamline the manufacture of your cell therapies.
- Cell Culture Reagents
- Stem Cells
- GMP Capabilities
- Organoid and 3D Cell Culture Products
- Stem Cells Markers Interactive Tool at R&D Systems
- Stem Cell Protocols at R&D Systems
- Streamlining Transition to GMP
- Protocols for Stem Cells at Tocris
- Flow Cytometry Panel Builder at Novus
- Basement Membrane Basics Technical Guide at R&D Systems
- Cytokine and Protein User’s Guide Book at R&D Systems
- Evolution of Cell Culture Models eBook at R&D Systems
- Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Workflow Solutions Brochure at R&D Systems
- Assessing the Pluripotent Status of Stem Cells Technical Note at R&D Systems
- Differentiation Potential of iPSC Article at R&D Systems
- Stem Cell Workflow: Using Small Molecules Poster at Tocris
- Stem Cell Research Product Guide at Tocris
- Next-Generation Analytical Solutions For Cell & Gene Therapy eBook at ProteinSimple
Luminex is a registered trademark of Luminex Corporation.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC)
Does StemXVivo™ Mesenchymal Stem Cell Expansion Media need addition of serum before use?
The StemXVivo Mesenchymal Stem Cell Expansion Media does not need addition of serum. Fetal bovine serum is included in the product, which is a complete medium and ready to use. The media may be supplemented with cytokine or growth factors for your desired cell culture application.
How long can mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) be cultured in StemXVivo Mesenchymal Stem Cell Expansion Media?
MSCs can be grown to 80-90% confluency and subsequently subcultured using the protocol provided in the product datasheet. Researchers should establish the number of passages that is acceptable for their work. MSCs are sensitive to passages and, if subcultured too many times, may start losing their MSC characteristics. Our MSC Functional Identification Kits can be used for validation of MSC mulitpotency.
Does StemXVivo Mesenchymal Stem Cell Expansion Media contain phenol red?
Yes StemXVivo Mesenchymal Stem Cell Expansion Media contains phenol red.
Is the appearance of crystals in StemXVivo Xeno-free Human MSC Expansion Media normal?
Yes. The crystals are a calcium-containing precipitate and may form, to a limited degree, in this media. A limited amount of crystals will not impact MSC expansion. Avoiding multiple freeze-thaw cycles of the medium is helpful in reducing the amount of crystals.
Does the Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Functional Identification Kit include the adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic kit supplements?
Is it important to use medium without ribonucleosides and deoxyribonucleosides for growing mesenchymal stem cells?
We have not compared, in a side-by-side experiment, medium with and without ribonucleosides and deoxyribonucleosides for growing mesenchymal stem cells. There is literature to support the fact that using medium without ribonucleosides and deoxyribonucleosides is beneficial for growing mesenchymal stem cells.
Can the Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Functional Identification Kit be used with non-human primate mesenchymal stem cells?
It is likely that the antibodies included in the kit are cross-reactive to other primates. The supplements included in the kit are not intended to be species-specific. However, the kit has not been tested with primate mesenchymal stem cells.
For the Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Functional Identification Kit, how can induction of differentiation be monitored?
For adipogenic differentiation, the appearance of vacuoles in cells after 5-7 days is a sign of differentiation and can be monitored by microscopic examination of the cells. For osteogenic differentiation, the beginning of cell detachment after about 14 days is a sign of differentiation. Cell detachment should be monitored in this case. For chondrogenic differentiation, there isn't an exact marker to look for other than fixing and staining the frozen pellet between differentiation days 14 - 21. The exact choice of time may take some empirical testing.
Are there any experimental tips/hints for successful chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells?
The following tips/hints are useful for chondrogenic differentiation: a) The mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) should not be from a late passage (passage 8 or less), b) If using the Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Functional Identification Kit or the StemXVivo Chondrogenic Supplement, use the starting MSC cell number that is indicated in the protocol, c) Early during chondrogenic differentiation a pellet should form. As differentiation progresses, the pellet will grow and take up a ball-like appearance. d) The pellet should not attach to the tube, therefore care should be taken to not dislodge it while changing media.
Can human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) be used with the StemXVivo Cardiomyocyte Differentiation Kit?
This kit is unlikely to work with human MSCs as these cells are at a different point in development and are expected to need different signals.
The N-2 Plus Media Supplement contains bovine insulin whereas N-2 MAX Media Supplement contains recombinant human insulin. All other media components and concentrations in N-2 Plus and N-2 MAX are the same. These two products perform comparably in side-by-side testing. Due to a limited supply of bovine insulin, the products are priced differently.
Does N-2 MAX Media Supplement contain any components that are calcium salts?
Does N-2 MAX Media Supplement contain any proteins that are produced using Baculovirus?
Should NPCs be maintained on plates coated with Cultrex™ RGF BME?
Yes. During NPC maintenance, cells should be cultured on plates coated with Cultrex RGF BME. Coating a plate with Cultrex Poly-L-Lysine (10 µg/mL) followed by Cultrex Laminin (20 µg/mL) is another option.
Can Human/Mouse/Rat Neural Lineage Functional Identification Kit be used with both embryonic and adult neural progenitor cells?
The Human/Mouse/Rat Neural Lineage Functional Identification Kit has been tested with embryonic neural progenitor cells. The kit should also work with adult neural progenitor cells, as adult cells have similar growth conditions.
Can the Human/Mouse Dopaminergic Neuron Differentiation Kit work with a starting population of neural progenitor cells instead of mouse pluripotent stem cells?
The kit may work with a starting population of neural progenitor cells, but we have not tested this. If starting with neural progenitor cells we recommend starting at Stage 5 of the Dopaminergic Neuron Differentiation Kit protocol. The starting cell density would also have to be optimized.
How many passages can the neural progenitor cells (NPCs), obtained on Day 7 of differentiation, go through before being used in an experiment/application?
Following differentiation NPCs can be passaged approximately five times. However, it is ideal to cryopreserve the NPCs following the 7-8 day differentiation and save the frozen cells for future experiments.
What are the recommendations for using the neural progenitor cells (NPCs) for differentiation into astrocytes and oligodendrocytes?
One recommendation is to maintain the NPCs at a cell density of about 50,000-100,000 cells/cm2. The second is to allow the NPCs to go through 2-4 passages before differentiating into astrocytes and oligodendrocytes as older NPCs show better differentiation into these neurons.
How many days does it take to generate cardiomyocytes using the StemXVivo Cardiomyocyte Differentiation Kit?
Beating cells can be seen as early as Day 10-13 of differentiation. Beating then becomes more widespread throughout the following week.
When should I switch from the Cardiomyocyte Differentiation Kit to the Cardiomyocyte Maintanence Media Supplement?
At what time point after starting hepatocyte differentiation do cells reach the definitive endoderm stage?
The cells are differentiated to the definitive endoderm stage by around day 4 from differentiation initiation. A schematic of the differentiation progression can be viewed in this scientific poster.