What is this technology/ What can it do
An Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (hiPSC) is a stem cell that is generated in the laboratory. This is done using pluripotency factors, so called Yamanaka factors, named after it’s discoverer Prof Yamanaka who received the Nobel prize for this discovery. hiPSC can be generated from donated tissue such as blood, skin, or hair. hiPSC can be cultured and survive indefinitely forming an inexhaustible source as starting material for the production of all kinds of tissue such as heart, kidney, nerve, or muscle cells. Turning hiPSC into other cell types is done using a process called differentiation. In this process the hiPSC culture receives different growth factors that help the cells to change shape and function. hiPSC-derived tissues are a valuable source for the production of cells and tissues for transplantation. In time hiPSC-derived tissues might be able to replace organs which will drastically shorten the transplant wait list.
State-of the-art now
LUMC’s hiPSC-hotel is very proficient in producing hiPSC from donor tissue and turning these into multiple cell and tissue types for research purposes. Our current goal is to produce hiPSC under special conditions in LUMC’s good manufacturing practices (GMP) laboratory. GMP production of hiPSC is necessary if these are to be used as starting material for the generation of hiPSC-derived tissue for clinical testing.
This is what we aim to accomplish in the future
Having GMP-compliant hiPSC available will allow LUMC to enter clinical studies with hiPSC-derived products. One of the first products we are aiming to produce for clinical testing are insulin producing cells to treat patients with diabetes. This is a relatively simple tissue as the product will consist of cells for injection. In the far future we strive towards making complex tissues for transplantation from hiPSC such as kidney tissue for the treatment of patients with kidney disease.