Stem cells created from a drop of blood
Scientists from A*STAR’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) have developed a way to use one drop of finger-pricked blood to generate human stem cells.
The stem cells under study, called human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), are a vital component of research, drug discovery and cell therapy among the international science community. The current method for creating hiPSCs involve invasive techniques, including collecting cells from the skin or bone marrow or large quantities of blood donation.
For the study, researchers aimed to reduce the amount of blood needed for hiPSC creation. They specifically wanted to test the efficacy of donors collecting and storing their own finger-pricked blood samples. Researchers found that donors were able to follow the DIY sample collection approach, and researchers found that less than a drop of blood was sufficient for reprogramming into hiPSCs. The technique is further described in the paper published online on the Stem Cell Translational Medicine journal.
By creating stem cells from a single drop of blood—an innovation for which a patent has already been filed—the scientific community would have increased availability and accessibility of resources. Scientists said they plan on integrating the finger-pricking technique with global hiPSC bank initiatives and are hopeful that their innovation will lead to advancements in regenerative medicine and more effective treatments for human diseases.