Building the Foundations of Future Biotechnology
Stem Cell Biology and its applications have become increasingly important not only in medical research and clinical medicine, but also in engineering, computer science, and other industries. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), play major roles in these fields. These hPSCs can be indefinitely expanded to a large number of cells and can differentiate into essentially all the cell types in our body in vitro. Specific cell types, such as neurons and muscles, produced from hPSCs – either derived from patients or healthy individuals, can be used for a variety of applications, such as transplantation therapy, drug screening, toxicity screening, Precision Medicine (personalized drugs), tissue chip, disease modeling, and bioengineering (see the Technology Applications section for the detail). However, there is still one major missing technology – technologies that allow rapid, consistent, reproducible, scalable differentiation of hPSCs into a variety of desired cell types. Elixirgen Scientific’s mission is to invent, improve, and disseminate this key technology to the broad academic and industrial research and development community.
Pharmaceutical companies and researchers alike can use the Quick-Tissue™ Series’ kits in order to screen for drugs. Our kits are optimized for simple, yet consistent and reproducible procedures, and thus, are best suited to the high throughput screening (HTS) with robots and robotic platforms. By using diseased iPSCs with the kits, they will be able to find better compounds and cures at a much higher rate and throughput than before.
One of the future goals in widely discussed “Precision Medicine” is to select the most suitable drugs for individual patients (“personalized or tailored medicine”). Our kits help to achieve these dreams by providing rapid, efficient, and reproducible differentiation of patient-specific iPS cells into desired cell types.
Yet another exciting technological platform is “Tissue Chips or organs-on-chips” This technology involves creating living human tissues on a chip and integrating them into a human body-on-a-chip, which can eventually be used for testing safety and efficacy of drug candidates before any testing in humans. Our kits can help to achieve these goals by providing rapid, efficient, and reproducible differentiation of ESCs/iPSCs into desired cell types.
3-D bioprinting is a growing field of study in bioengineering, and the Quick-Tissue™ Series’ kits can be used to differentiate stem cells on top of the printed scaffolds – one of the currently most used methods for such printing. The kits’ speed and efficiency will help those researchers accelerate their research and enable methods of bioprinting that have previously been impossible.
One of the key paradigms in Regenerative Medicine is to differentiate human ES and iPS cells into desired cell types and transplant them to patients in need of these cells/tissue/organs. Examples include skeletal muscles for Muscular Dystrophy, dopaminergic neurons for Parkinson’s disease, pancreatic beta-cells for Diabetes, cardiomyocytes for heart failures and myocardial infarction. The technology used in the Quick-Tissue™ Series could also be applied to generating these desired cells from human ES and iPS cells.
Researchers have traditionally used non-human cells, such as mouse cells, for basic and applied biomedical researches. One of the reasons is the paucity of human cell cultures suitable for research. Advent of human ES cells and iPS cells has changed this situation, as these pluripotent cells differentiate into essentially any cell types in our body. With the Quick-Tissue™ Series, using human differentiated cells in biomedical research and/or studying human development and cell differentiation have never been easier.