Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Test to improve stem cell safety

Date:
June 4, 2013
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
Scientists have developed a test to identify unsafe stem cells. It is the first safety test specifically for human induced pluripotent stem cells.

iPS cells in the lab.
Credit: Image courtesy of CSIRO Australia

CSIRO scientists have developed a test to identify unsafe stem cells. It is the first safety test specifically for human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) -- as published today in the international journal Stem Cells.

Related Articles


The breakthrough is a significant step in improving the quality of iPS cells and identifying unwanted cells that can form tumours. The test also determines how stable iPS cells are when grown in the lab.

"The test we have developed allows us to easily identify unsafe iPS cells. Ensuring the safety of these cell lines is paramount and we hope this test will become a routine screen as part of developing safe and effective iPS-based cell therapies."

Dr Andrew Laslett and his team have spent the last five years working on the project. The research has focused on comparing different types of iPS cells with human embryonic stem cells. iPS cells are now the most commonly used pluripotent stem cell type for research.

"The test we have developed allows us to easily identify unsafe iPS cells. Ensuring the safety of these cell lines is paramount and we hope this test will become a routine screen as part of developing safe and effective iPS-based cell therapies," says Dr Laslett.

Using their test method, Dr Laslett's team has shown that certain ways of making iPS cells carry more risks. When the standard technique is used, which relies on viruses to permanently change the DNA of a cell, unwanted tumours are more likely to form. In comparison, cells made using methods which do not alter cell DNA, do not form tumours.

Dr Laslett hopes the study and the new test method will help to raise the awareness and importance of stem cell safety and lead to improvements in quality control globally.

"It is widely accepted that iPS cells made using viruses should not be used for human treatment, but they can also be used in research to understand diseases and identify new drugs. Having the assurance of safe and stable cells in all situations should be a priority," says Dr Laslett.

The test uses laser technology to identify proteins found on the surface of the cells. Based on the presence or absence of specific proteins the cells are then separated and monitored. Unsafe stem cell lines are easily identified because they form recognisable clusters of cells and the safe ones don't. This test could also be applied to assess the safety of the recently announced somatic cell nuclear transfer human embryonic stem cells.

Professor Martin Pera, Program Leader of Stem Cells Australia, said: "Although cell transplantation therapies based on iPS cells are being fast-tracked for testing in humans, there is still much debate in the scientific community over the potential hazards of this new technology."

"This important study provides a simple and powerful technique for assessing how safe stem cell lines are for use in patients," he adds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Juan Carlos Polanco, Mirabelle S.H. Ho, Bei Wang, Qi Zhou, Ernst Wolvetang, Elizabeth Mason, Christine A. Wells, Gabriel Kolle, Sean M. Grimmond, Ivan Bertoncello, Carmel O'Brien, Andrew L. Laslett. Identification of Unsafe Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines Using a Robust Surrogate Assay for Pluripotency. STEM CELLS, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/stem.1425

Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Test to improve stem cell safety." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130604094730.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2013, June 4). Test to improve stem cell safety. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130604094730.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Test to improve stem cell safety." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130604094730.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Is What It's Like To Date A Med Student

This Is What It's Like To Date A Med Student

BuzzFeed (Jan. 23, 2015) Dating is now speed-dating... or studying. Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins