Automated laser-based cell manipulation can generate stem cells for pathology

Scientists at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (La Jolla, CA), an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) generator, have collaborated with synthetic biology company Intrexon (XON; Germantown, MD) on a study using the company's Laser Enabled Analysis and Processing (LEAP) system for generating human iPSCs.

The LEAP system integrates computerized image-based selection with laser-based processing for in situ purification of high-value cells and cell colonies, a feature that is particularly useful when working with complex human iPSC cultures. The platform is being employed by Sanford-Burnham to improve and accelerate methods for generating human iPSCs and their differentiated progeny, which are used in the evaluation of a variety of diseases.

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is working with Intrexon on a study using the company's Laser Enabled Analysis and Processing (LEAP) system for generating human iPSCs


As described in the published study, the system can isolate iPSCs while eliminating non- or partially reprogrammed cells or other undesirable cell types in the culture. Standard practices for stem cell colony maintenance often rely on either enzymatic procedures, which can lead to genomic instability over time with repeated cell passages, or manual techniques, which are time-consuming and labor-intensive. The system avoids these drawbacks by combining the quality and precision of manual methods with the capacity for high-throughput processing, all while maintaining the cells in a sterile environment.

Full details of the study appear in the journal Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biology; for more information, please visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9780470151808.sc04a07s31.

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