24 March 2014

DIY: Stem cells from a drop of blood

Singapore researchers from the A*STAR Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology have developed a method for creating human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from cells contained in a drop of capillary blood obtained with a scarifier injection from a finger pad. This method gives donors the opportunity to independently collect blood samples and send them to the laboratory for further processing. The developers believe that in this way it is possible to attract a large number of donors of different ethnicities to the creation of large iPSC banks.

Modern methods of genetic reprogramming make it possible to transform mature human cells into so-called iPSCs, whose properties are close to those of embryonic stem cells. In some countries, including Japan, the USA and the UK, several iPSC banks have already been established, providing access to these cells to specialists engaged in scientific work in the field of stem cells, as well as medical research.

Modern methods of harvesting cells for reprogramming involve invasive interventions, such as obtaining a skin fragment or bone marrow biopsy, which scares off many potential donors. Despite the fact that iPSCs can be obtained from blood cells, it usually requires a large amount of material. However, a new approach developed by scientists working under the guidance of Dr. Loh Yuin Han Jonathan allows you to limit yourself to just a drop of capillary blood released from the finger pad. And the cells obtained as a result of 12-day cultivation in the laboratory have all the properties of iPSC.

The availability of this approach is exceptionally high due to the possibility of self-preparation of the sample and its stability at room temperature for 48 hours. This will make it possible to attract people living in different geographical regions and having different ethnicity, and, accordingly, different genotypes and predisposition to different diseases.

Schematic representation of the process of harvesting capillary blood and its subsequent processing.

Staining of cells obtained as a result of reprogramming with iPSC-specific markers.

Article by H.-K. Tan et al. Human Finger-Prick Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Facilitate the Development of Stem Cell Banking is published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on A*STAR materials:
A*STAR Scientists Create Stem Cells From a Drop of Blood


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