Product News: New iPSC model for COVID-19

28 Jun 2021

Dr. Kazuo Takayama from the renowned Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University (Japan) has given unique insight into his pioneering research that has successfully modeled the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle in undifferentiated iPSCs, which were previously uninfectable.

The presentation which was given at ISSCR 2021, the leading professional organization for stem cell scientists, discussed how iPSCs and organoids can be used in COVID-19 drug discovery research.

This innovation showcase presentation at ISCCR 2021 was sponsored by AMSBIO in association with the manufacturers of Stemfit® cell culture media, iMatrix™ recombinant laminin extracellular matrix, and STEMCELLBANKER® cryopreservation solutions.

It has been widely reported that genetic differences are a primary reason for differences in the susceptibility and severity of COVID-19. As induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells maintain the genetic information of the donor, they can be used to model individual differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. The CiRA team headed by Dr. Takayama reported on results demonstrating that human iPS cells expressing the SARS-CoV-2 receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) (ACE2-iPS cells) can be infected with SARS-CoV-2. Further data was shown illustrating how SARS-CoV-2 life cycle can be reproduced in the ACE2-iPS cells, how COVID-19 candidate drugs can be evaluated using ACE2-iPS cells and how ACE2-iPS cells can reproduce individual differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Dr Takayama commented: “Since we used eight ACE2-iPS cell lines in this study, we used a very large volume of Stemfit® medium and iMatrix ECM. Although many cells are required for COVID-19 drug evaluation, iPS cells cultured with Stemfit® and iMatrix™ have a high replication capacity, so that sufficient cell numbers can easily be prepared and can easily be cryopreserved as required using STEM-CELLBANKER®.”

Stemfit® is the leading feeder-free medium for ES/iPS cell culture that combines superior expansion rates with lower media usage. iMatrix™ Recombinant Laminin-511 is a high-performance cell culture matrix, compatible with a wide range of cell types that is particularly well suited to iPSCs. iMatrix-511 provides a speedy non-coating protocol and offers superior cell-binding compared to multiple other cell culture substrates. STEM-CELLBANKER® is a chemically defined, animal-free GMP-grade cryopreservation media, optimized for ES/iPS cells. STEM-CELLBANKER® maintains cell pluripotency, normal karyotype, and proliferation post-thaw whilst also providing consistent high cell viability. All these products are available and supported internationally by AMSBIO.

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