Academic application of Good Cell Culture Practice for induced pluripotent stem cells

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Julia Tigges , Kevin Bielec, Gabriele Brockerhoff, Barbara Hildebrandt, Ulrike Hübenthal, Julia Kapr, Katharina Koch, Nadine Teichweyde, Dagmar Wieczorek, Andrea Rossi, Ellen Fritsche
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Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) are a promising tool for replacing animal-based experiments. To warrant data reproducibility, quality-controlled research material is recommended. While the need for global harmonization of quality standards for stem cell banking centers, commercial providers, pre-clinical and clinical use of cells is well doc­umented, there are no recommendations available for quality control of hiPSC in an academic research environment to date. To fill this gap, we here give an example of a quality-controlled, two-tiered banking process producing a fully characterized master cell bank (MCB) and partially characterized respective working cell banks (WCB). Characteri­zation includes the study of morphology, mycoplasma contamination, cell line identity, karyotype stability, cell antigen expression and viability, gene expression, pluripotency, and post-thaw recovery. Costs of these procedures are cal­culated. We present the results of the proposed testing panel of two hiPSC MCBs and show that both fulfil the defined specifications regarding the above-mentioned characterization assays during and upon banking. In conclusion, we propose a panel of eight assays, which are practical and useful for an academic research laboratory working with hiPSCs. Meeting these proposed specifications ensures the quality of pluripotent stem cells throughout diverse experi­ments at moderate costs.

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Tigges, J. (2021) “Academic application of Good Cell Culture Practice for induced pluripotent stem cells”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 38(4), pp. 595–614. doi: 10.14573/altex.2101221.

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