Karyotyping iPSCs for chromosomal abnormalities: what is it and why you should do it 


Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are passaged extensively prior to being differentiated into cells for use in research activities such as disease modelling, drug development, and toxicology. iPSCs are also being developed as cellular therapeutics for regenerative medicine. A hazard of this reprogramming and prolonged culture is an increase in genetic instability manifesting in chromosomal abnormalities.

It is important to understand these abnormalities as they may affect performance of differentiated cells in downstream applications. This is exemplified in pre-clinical studies of drug candidates, where iPSC-derived cells are often used in exploratory disease models. The sensitivity of iPSC-derived cells to drugs can be affected by the underlying genetic instability.

The frequency of genetic alterations can vary with cell processing and culture conditions. It is important to regularly screen for aberrant chromosomes to establish the genetic stability and integrity of cells. The gold-standard method is karyotyping, a technique which examines the number of chromosomes in a cell sample and can also detect structural rearrangements within chromosomes by examining banding patterns.

This webinar, from Cell Guidance Systems’ Cytogenetics team will give both academic and industry researchers an overview of the technique of karyotyping and principles used to determine chromosomal patterns and therefore the genetic stability of the cells. We will also describe the types of abnormalities that are routinely observed, explain which abnormalities are known to affect cell behaviour, and outline the current recommendations for quality assurance of genetic stability in iPSCs.



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