Human iPSC-derived cells are not difficult to culture; they simply require familiarity and careful attention to the culture conditions to ensure that cellular properties and functions are maintained over time. Here are eight tips to enable successful applications of iPSC-derived cells:
1. Pick your human source based upon your research needs. Human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cells enable researchers to select in vitro cellular systems generated from panels of healthy or diseased individuals, representing the genetic diversity within a given population.
2. Understand that the culturing environment can impact cellular functionality. Culture conditions are critical for maintaining cell health or inducing cellular stress. Some iPSC-derived cells require time to adjust to their environment after plating.
3. Select your culture medium based on your intended assay. Different cell types can have different metabolic and functional needs. Customized energy sources and medium supplements can modulate a cell’s function in the desired endpoint assay. A medium formulation different from the culturing medium may be required for optimal performance of the desired endpoint assay.
4. Determine the optimal timing for an assay based on the cellular function to be tested. Some cellular functions of iPSC-derived cell types require a degree of inter-cell communication, which is established over time. Examples of such time-sensitive cellular activities are neurite outgrowth, cardiomyocyte sarcomeric and gap-junction organization, and endothelial barrier function.