Cells were reportedly functionally identical to ESCs and had the same genetic background as the source sample.

Researchers at Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) report the ability to generate pluripotent stem cells from small volumes of ordinary human blood samples. These findings will be presented during a poster session on July 10 at the ISSCR annual meeting in Barcelona. 

To generate the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, CDI scientists isolated T cells 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 these iPS cells were functionally identical to embryonic stem cells and iPS cells generated from other human tissue sources, according to CDI. The researchers also found say that they carried the same genetic background as the source blood sample and that they have the pluripotent ability to differentiate into any cell type.

Pluripotent stem cells may be generated from either freshly collected blood from a patient or samples from blood storage repositories. “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,” says Emile Nuwaysir, COO of CDI. “This is the first step in paving the way for large-scale processing and industrialization of iPS cells.”

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