Why Use Standardized Kits When Differentiating Pluripotent Stem Cells

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 13:35

Standardized pluripotent stem cell differentiation kits, such as the StemXVivo® Differentiation Kits from R&D Systems, offer a number of benefits over both home-brew protocols or the direct purchase of pre-differentiated iPS cells. This post provides a brief discussion of those benefits:

Consistent Method for Assessing Pluripotency – Researchers creating iPS cell lines must verify the pluripotency of their newly generated cells. The teratoma assay and the embryoid body assay are the historical standard for validation. However, they are time consuming and inconsistent. Differentiation kits are ideal for applying a fast and standardized method to pluripotency validation because they contain optimized reagents and succinct protocols. This is especially valuable when comparing pluripotency across iPS cell lines.

iPS Cell Flexibility – iPS cell-derived cardiomyocytes, hepatocytes, and neurons are being utilized for research on personalized medicine, drug discovery, and toxicity screening. Unlike commercially-available differentiated iPS cells, differentiation kits provide researchers the option to apply the same procedure across a number of established or newly-generated patient-derived iPS cell lines. In doing so, kits provide the flexibility to address intra- and inter-cell line variability of compounds for drug and toxicity screening, which is currently an important technical and quality issue facing the field of stem cell research.

Optimized for Efficiency – In addition to getting robust stem cell differentiation, shortening the length of differentiation protocols is of high importance to many researchers. Kits, such as the StemXVivo® Differentiation Kits, are designed to improve yield and minimize time. How is this done? Our stem cell research team took full advantage of the R&D Systems catalog of research-grade proteins and antibodies, as well as the Tocris catalog of small molecules to determine unique protocols and component combinations that maximize differentiation efficiency and reduce protocol length and complexity.

Reproducible Performance – Kits can provide a more reproducible method for differentiation. Using home-brew protocols that piece together reagents from multiple vendors is risky, with the potential to encounter supply and reagent quality issues at inopportune times during critical experiments. StemXVivo® Differentiation Kits follow the quality standards for which R&D Systems proteins and antibodies are known. These kits undergo rigorous testing to ensure performance and supply consistency. When timelines are tight or cells are limited, a method for reliable differentiation matters.

Easier Experimental Planning – Kits can improve workflow efficiency and cut costs by enabling scientists to plan experiments more thoroughly. StemXVivo® Differentiation Kits, define the number of iPS cells that can be differentiated using the quantity of reagents supplied. Because of this, researchers can determine the number of cells they need, buy the appropriate number of kits, and know that they’ll have enough cells for their experiments.

R&D Systems is at the forefront of standardizing the differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Our StemXVivo® Differentiation Kits are designed to be a flexible, accessible, and consistent solution for pluripotent stem cell differentiation.

Click here for details on our StemXVivo Differentiation Kits.

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