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


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 the cells is well documented, up to date there are no recommendations available for quality control of hiPSC in an academic research environment. 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 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. Here we present the results of the proposed testing panel of two hiPSC MCBs and show that both MCBs 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 employing only moderate expenses.

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Tigges, J., Bielec, K., Brockerhoff, G., Hildebrandt, B., Hübenthal, U., Kapr, J., Koch, K., Teichweyde, N., Wieczorek, D., Rossi, A. and Fritsche, E. (2021) “Academic application of Good Cell Culture Practice for induced pluripotent stem cells”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation. doi: 10.14573/altex.2101221.

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