Dr. Ryuji Kato, an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Nagoya University, Japan, Dr. Miho K. Furue, the Project Leader of the Laboratory of Stem Cell Cultures at the National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition, Japan, and Mr. Yasujiro Kiyota, the Director of Stem Cell Business Development Section at Nikon Corporation, Japan, developed a non-invasive image-based evaluation method for induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in the cultivation process.
With their unlimited proliferation and multilineage potential, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), such as iPSCs, are expected to apply their potentiality to the research field of drug discovery and regenerative medicine. However, at present, iPSC colonies are manually cultivated and their quality is evaluated based on their morphology by a practiced human eye, which requires substantial time and effort.
In this study, the researchers successfully designed a novel unbiased image-based analytical method, which is non-invasive, quick, and low-cost, to evaluate the quality of iPSC colonies. This system is expected to be facilitated by automated technology for the stable mass production of high quality hPSCs. The research results were published online in Scientific Reports on September 26, 2016. This study was conducted as a part of the project focused on Developing Key Evaluation Technology: Development of Cell Production and Processing Systems for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (Project leader: Prof. Masahiro Kino-oka, Osaka University) supported by Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).
This study was supported by grants-in-aid from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) to Nikon, R.K. and M.K.F.; Industrial Technology Research (Financial Support to Young Researchers, 09C46036a) to R.K.; the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) to R.K., M.K.F., M.S. and T.F.; the Hori Science and Arts Foundation to R.K. and H.S.; the Program for Leading Graduate Schools "Integrative Graduate Education and Research in Green Natural Sciences" of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan to H.S.; and the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare of Japan and AMED to M.K.F.