Cellular Dynamics International Reprograms Blood Cells into Stem Cells
News Jul 15, 2009
Researchers at Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) report the ability to generate pluripotent stem cells, which have the ability to generate all tissue types in the body, from very small volumes of ordinary human blood samples.
This significant breakthrough provides a readily obtainable source of pluripotent stem cells from the millions of samples in storage at blood repositories and healthcare institutions worldwide.
“Industry’s challenge was to reliably create iPS cells from a commonly available and easily accessible tissue source and we focused on stored human peripheral blood samples,” said Chris Kendrick-Parker, chief commercial officer of CDI.
“Generating pluripotent stem cells from small volumes of blood-either freshly collected from a patient or accessed from blood storage repositories, provides a convenient source for generating patient-specific stem cells that are valuable research tools and may one day be used as a cellular therapy to treat disease.”
Emile Nuwaysir, chief operations officer of CDI said, “The ability to use common tissue repositories to create iPS cells from donors with known medical history enables us to provide the pharmaceutical industry with a cell portfolio representing individual biology, disease models, retrospective analysis and ethnic diversity. This is the first step in paving the way for large-scale processing and industrialization of iPS cells.”
To generate the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, CDI scientists isolated T-cells, a type of white blood cell, from a 3 ml donor blood sample. The cells were stimulated, expanded and exposed to documented reprogramming factors. iPS cell colonies were observed after three weeks.
Analysis revealed that the iPS cells are functionally identical to embryonic stem cells and iPS cells generated from other human tissue sources, that they carry the same genetic background as the source blood sample, and that they have the pluripotent ability to differentiate into any cell type.