Finding alternative cell sources
In order to reach independence of human biopsy donations in the future and thus avoid the difficulties that arise when dealing with human material, induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS cells) could be used as an alternative cell source. IPS cells are similar to human embryonic stem cells even though they are derived from human fibroblasts. The reprogramming is induced by certain transcription factors. The induction of these factors can be performed by several different techniques. We have used mRNA to avoid genetic manipulation of the cells and to generate virus free IPS cells. Thus the IPS cells produced by this method also have great potential for regenerative medicine, as they can be generated individually for the patient.
- The reprogramming takes about 3 weeks
- IPS cells are generated without genetic manipulation
- IPS cells have been cultured for more then 6 months and have produced keratinocytes and fibroblasts
- IPS cells derived are similar to human embryonic stem cells
- Additional cell types can be derived (neurons, hepatocytes, chondrocytes...)