Stem Cells

Everything you need to know about the REPROCELL iPSC Biobank

Zara Puckrin, BSc / 9 March 2021

The REPROCELL induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) biobank is a unique tool for neurodegenerative disease researchers. Established in 2020, this biobank is built on a solid foundation of stem cell and biorepository expertise. Here, we summarize the background behind the biobank's establishment, and answer some frequently asked questions about this offering.

Browse the full range of StemRNA Human iPSCs →


 

Why we established an iPSC Biobank 

Most neurodegenerative diseases do not have satisfying treatment options (e.g. multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease) or a defined cause (e.g. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease). In addition, human neuronal tissues are near-impossible to access, and animal models have their own set of limitations. iPSC-derived neurons are a superior to these conventional models, with applications in both pathological research and neurological drug screening.


Control iPSC lines available 

Researchers know that collecting good quality data is critical. Therefore, choosing relevant experimental controls is essential. With this in mind, we wanted to include a solid set of control lines in our iPSC biobank, procuring tissue from eight healthy donors of various races, sexes and ages.  Recruiting individuals that were aged 45 or older was a priority (because we wanted to provide controls for neurodegenerative diseases) as was deriving iPSCs from a range of tissue sources. 

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


Neurodegenerative iPSC lines available

We began collecting iPSCs from diseased donors by screening Parkinson's Disease (PD) patients. As PD is a genetically heterogeneous condition, we wanted to identify tissue donors carrying different PD mutations.

In our current iPSC biobank, one of our PD donors has a sporadic form of the disease (SK007), while the others are affected by familial PD (SK008, SK010). This biobank also includes two ALS donors carrying familial mutations in the FUS and TDP-43 genes (SK009, SK011). Finally, we have an iPSC line from a patient with a familial form of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) with a mutation in the preselin 1 gene (SK012).

Donor

SK007 (PD)

SK008 (PD)

SK009 (ALS)

SK010 (PD)

SK011 (ALS)

SK012 (AD)

Race

Caucasian

Caucasian

African-American

Caucasian

Caucasian

Caucasian

Sex

Male

Female

Female

Female

Male

Male

Age (years)

56

58

20

20

65

56

Tissue collected

All Skin punch biopsy

Mutation 

Sporadic patient PARK2 FUS SNCA TDP-43 PSEN1

Ability to recontact?

yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A


Frequently asked questions about the REPROCELL iPSC Biobank

This biobank has been established with several common characteristics. For example,  our iPSCs are derived from four primary tissue sources using Stemgent 3rd Gen RNA Reprogramming Technology. They are also cultured using the same cell culture reagents. 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 biological sources for primary tissues 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. For our scientists, RNA reprogramming is the best choice as it 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?

All cell lines are subject to a thorough quality control process before being made available to our customers.

  • 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 also screened at the time of freezing for mycoplasma, bacteria and fungus contamination. The STR analysis at the time of freezing also needs to be consistent with the genomic profile of the tissue of origin.
  • We also check the karyotyping by G-banding on 20 clones, pluripotency by immunocytochemistry (ICC) on four stem cell markers (OCT4, SSEA4, NANOG, TRA160).
  • Finally,  we confirm that the freeze-thaw viability is over 80% - whole genome sequencing is also available if desired.

Are StemRNA Human iPSCs free for commercial use?

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

What are your future plans for the iPSC Biobank?

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 modelling 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 still growing

REPROCELL's iPSC biobank is still evolving and 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 by following us on LinkedIn. And, as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our products and services.

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