Assay Marks Excellence in Cell Line Quality
The Coriell Institute for Medical Research today announces the in-licensing of PluriTest, a cost-effective, accurate, animal-free bioinformatics assay for determining the pluripotency of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC).
Developed by Dr. Jeanne Loring, now at the Scripps Research Institute, and Dr. Franz Josef Muller, now at the University of Kiel, PluriTest leverages microarray technology to identify genes active in normal human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells and non-pluripotent cells in order to generate a detailed molecular model of a normal pluripotent stem cell line. Using this comprehensive molecular model, PluriTest delivers superior standards of cell line quality control and characterization.
"We saw a need for a method to characterize human pluripotent stem cells that was inexpensive and easy to use, without compromising the rigorous quality researchers require of their materials," says Dr. Loring, who has offered PluriTest online since publication of the assay in 2011*. More than 13,000 datasets have been analyzed since the assay was made available online.
Designed to assess whether a cell is capable of diverse differentiation, PluriTest is more efficient than the conventional method, the teratoma assay, while also serving as an animal-free testing alternative.
"This is a field of interest that has been marked by a tremendous amount of growth and progress in a relatively short span of time," says Dr. Michael Christman, president and CEO of Coriell Institute. "As scientists increasingly rely on these powerful assets to drive disease studies, it's imperative that hiPSC lines are of a high and consistent grade. Partnering with Drs. Loring and Müller and facilitating access to this innovative assay ensures those benchmarks of quality are met."
Currently managed through a user-friendly digital interface backed by the Amazon Cloud, Coriell and the inventors intend to collaborate and develop future releases of PluriTest with additional functionality and service packages.
"We aspire to help accelerate work in the lab setting, and aligning with an expert organization like Coriell is key to that aim," says Dr. Loring.
Integrating PluriTest as a standard component of a first-class hiPSC program is an extension of the Institute's deep understanding of the need for high standards in biomaterials. The adoption of innovative techniques and technology enables Coriell to advance the research community's utility of hiPSCs.
In late 2015, Coriell – in partnership with the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine – launched a repository of hiPSCs representing eleven common diseases, such as autism, Alzheimer's disease, and heart, lung and liver diseases. The hiPSC collection is positioned to reach 750 lines by February and will accommodate 3,000 lines over the next several years, qualifying Coriell's hiPSC collection as the world's largest.
*Muller, F. J. et al. A bioinformatic assay for pluripotency in human cells. Nature methods 8, 315-317, doi:10.1038/nmeth.1580 (2011).
About Coriell Institute
Coriell Institute for Medical Research is a pioneer in genomics, examining the utility of genetic information in clinical care through the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative (CPMC) research study (cpmc.coriell.org). Coriell is also unlocking the promise of induced pluripotent stem cells and their role in disease research and drug discovery. Additionally, the Institute continues to be recognized as the world's leading biobank, distributing biological samples and offering research and biobanking services to scientists around the globe. For more information, visit www.coriell.org and catalog.coriell.org or follow @Coriell_Science on Twitter.