Application Note: Assessing iPSC Colony Morphology Attributes

One of the biggest challenges in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) research is cell culture inconsistency. hPSC culture variability can arise from the media, supplements, and cell attachment surface as well as variation between cell lines. Routine assessment of critical quality attributes, such as colony morphology and size, can help minimize culture variability and ensure that high quality, undifferentiated hPSC populations are expanded and maintained for downstream studies.

Morphology of hPSC colonies is one of the most commonly monitored indicators of cell-colony quality because it is easily observed during routine culture handling. Visual assessment of cultures should be performed daily using a light microscope under phase contrast to detect changes in colony morphology, as well as to evaluate whether the cells are ready to be passaged.