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In Stem Cells

Everything you need to know about the REPROCELL iPSC Biobank

By Zara Puckrin, BSc / 30 November 2021

image showing stained ISPCs under a microscope

Most neurodegenerative diseases do not have satisfying treatment options or a defined cause. And while more research is needed to develop novel therapies for these diseases, CNS drugs have lofty failure rates, both preclinically and clinically. Human CNS tissues are impossible to access from living subjects, and animal models lack clinical relevance.

However, human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are more accessible than fresh tissues, more translational than animal models, and can be used in both pathological research and neurological drug screening. If you're a neurodegenerative disease researcher, the REPROCELL iPSC biobank was designed with you in mind. Established in 2020, this bank is built on a solid foundation of stem cell and biorepository expertise, granting you access to the most robust cells for neuronal differentiation. Here, we summarize the background behind the biobank's establishment and answer the most frequently asked questions about this offering.

Browse the full range of StemRNA Human iPSCs here →


Why we established an iPSC Biobank 

By establishing an iPSC biobank for neurodegenerative diseases, our iPSC Biobank makes it easier for CNS researchers to access clinically relevant disease models. We can ever perform neuronal differentiation as a complimentary service if you cannot complete this in-house.


Control iPSC lines available 

As a researcher, you know that collecting good-quality data is critical to translatability. With this in mind, we wanted to offer a solid set of control lines in our biobank, procuring tissue from eight healthy donors of various races, sexes, and ages. Deriving iPSCs from a range of tissue sources and recruiting individuals that were aged 45 or older was a priority for us, as neurodegenerative diseases tend to affect adults in this age group.

Donor

SK001

SK002

SK003

BL003

SK004

SK005

SK006

iPSC 8023G

iPSC 7713G

Race

Asian-Indian

Asian-Indian

Asian-Indian

Asian-Indian

Asian-Indian

Caucasian

Filipino

Hispanic

Caucasian

Sex

Male

Female

Female

Female

Male

Male

Male

Female

Male

Age (years)

56

58

20

20

65

56

30

30

32

Tissue collected

Skin punch biopsy

Skin punch biopsy

Skin punch biopsy

EPC whole blood

Skin punch biopsy

Skin punch biopsy

Skin punch biopsy

EPC whole blood

EPC whole blood

Ability to recontact?

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

no

no


Frequently asked questions about the REPROCELL iPSC Biobank

Below we have listed the most commonly asked questions about the iPSCs available from our biobank. 

What primary tissues are your iPSCs derived from? 

We have four biospecimen sources used in our biobank:

  1. Fibroblasts from skin punch biopsies
  2. Endothelial progenitor cells from whole blood
  3. Urine derived cells from urine (derived from the kidney)
  4. Dental pulp from tooth extraction

What reprogramming technology do you use?

The only reprogramming technology that we used is StemRNA™ 3rd Gen Reprogramming Technology. RNA reprogramming is non-integrative, thereby eliminating the need to screen cells for the absence of reprogramming factors. RNA technology is also faster and produces iPSCs with stronger pluripotency expression than other reprogramming methodologies.

What cell culture reagents do you recommend?

What quality control processes do you have in place?

Cell lines in the REPROCELL iPSC biobank share several common characteristics. For example,  they are all reprogrammed using StemRNA™ 3rd Gen  Reprogramming Technology and are subject to a thorough quality control process.

  • Primary cultures are screened using a viral pathogen panel that included HIV1, HIV2, HBV, HCV, HTLV1&2. Any tissues that test positive are immediately discarded.
  • iPSCs are screened at the time of freezing for mycoplasma, bacteria, and fungus contamination. STR analysis at the time of freezing must be consistent with the genomic profile of the tissue of origin.
  •  Karyotyping is checked by G-banding on 20 clones, pluripotency by immunocytochemistry (ICC) on four stem cell markers (OCT4, SSEA4, NANOG, TRA160).
  • Whole-genome sequencing is available if desired.

Are StemRNA Human iPSCs free for commercial use?

These iPSCs are for research only. However, commercial use of these cells is available for a flat fee.

Can you provide neuronal differentiation?

This biobank was established with neurodegenerative disease research in mind, so we are planning to use these cells to expand our neuronal differentiation services. Our team is currently accepting custom projects for the differentiation of iPSCs into neuronal stem cells (NSC) - such as astrocytes, dopaminergic, sensory, and motor neurons. Multiple cells lines can even be combined to produce coculture systems like this one we created for modeling PD. In addition, we have developed a novel culture medium, ReproNSC, for culturing any human neurons you create from iPSCs in our biobank.


Our iPSC Biobank is growing

REPROCELL's iPSC biobank is still growing. Right now, we are screening new donors, collecting tissues, and reprogramming primary cultures for your research. Keep up-to-date with our current lines, methodologies, and mutations on LinkedIn. And, as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about any of our products or services.

Click-here-StemRNA-iPSC-CTA2

Editors note: This post was originally published in March 2021 and has since been updated for accuracy and clarity.


References

Gribkoff & Kaczmarek. The Need for New Approaches in CNS Drug Discovery: Why Drugs Have Failed, and What Can Be Done to Improve Outcomes. Neuropharmacology, 120:1, pp11-19 (2017)

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