Stem Cell Core and Advanced Cell Technologies about

Overview: Stem Cell Core Unit (SCCU)

Recent years have brought significant achievements in the fields of stem cell research and developmental biology. This has important theoretical and clinical implications, and contributes to the tremendous expectations surrounding the stem cell applications worldwide. As part of Weizmann Institute of Science Biological Services Department sponsored by The Helen and Martin Kimmel Institute for Stem Cell Research, the Stem Cell Core Unit is committed to support and stimulate Stem Cell (SC) and induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) research activity at WIS, to participate in the development of new stem cell related technologies, to serve as stem cell field training and teaching hub

Mouse and Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) are unspecialized cells that renew themselves for long periods through cell division. They have the potential to become any kind of cell in the body. Yet, ESCs are difficult to maintain and culture, they require expert care and proper growth conditions ensuring that their genomic integrity and undifferentiated state are preserved. SCCU expands, stores and distributes qualified mouse and human ESCs as frozen or live cells stock. The ESCs are grown on a MEF feeder layer. Upon request, mouse ESCs can be plated on gelatinized surface.

Gamma Irradiated Feeder cells

To allow ESCs continuous growth in a pluripotent state, isolation and culturing are traditionally conducted on mitotically inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) feeder layers. The feeder cells play a dual role in ESC culture. They serve as a unique growth substrate and source of factors critically important for ESCs, especially for hESCs, survival and growth. SCCU derives, prepares and distributes MEFs and neonatal Human Foreskin Fibroblasts (HFFs) mitotically inactivated by -irradiation (iMEFs and iHFFs). MEFs are derived from DR4 (G418, Puromycin, Hygromycin and 6-thioguanine resistant) and ICR mouse strains.

iMEF conditioned hESCs medium

For the experiments were feeder cells must be omitted SCCU offers iMEF conditioned hES medium (CM).

Genetic modification of ESCs

Genetic modification of ESCs has broad applications in basic scientific research and can be used in future in cell-based therapies. Investigators can request stable genetic modification of mouse and human ESC by viral transduction, transfection or nucleofection. Ready to use viral particles, vectors and transfection reagents have to be supplied by the Investigator. Genetically modified ESC will be appropriately selected, amplified and stored.

Derivation of new iPS cell lines

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) are adult cells that have been genetically reprogrammed to an ESC-like state. As a research tool, iPS cells provide opportunities to study normal development and to understand reprogramming. iPS cells can also have an immediate impact as models for human diseases, including cancer, and hold future potential as patient-specific cell therapy. Creation of iPS cells is a challenging procedure that requires an expertise and training. We offer production of iPSCs from normal neonatal HFFs, MEFs or Investigator-defined cells. Each iPSC project needs prior consultations with Unit's personel.

Derivation of new mouse ES Cell Lines

In collaboration with The Transgenics & Knockouts Facility (Department of Veterinary Resources, WIS) we prepare new mouse ES cell lines from blastocysts of genetically modified mice. These lines provide an endless supply of cells for ex vivo/in vitro studies and are critical when genetically engineered mice cannot deliver offspring due to their in utero death at the initial stages of gestation.

Differentiation of ES cells into different lineages

Under defined conditions ESCs can be used to generate different cell lineages in vitro. Differentiation of wild type or genetically modified ESCs serves as a system to study cell fate decisions at the early to late stages of embryonic development. We offer in vitro differentiation of wild type or genetically modified mouse ES cells to various phenotypes. Each differentiation project will need prior discussions with the Unit's personnel.

CellCelector Robotic System Service

CellCelector is a multifunctional automated robotic system combining sophisticated imaging software with high-precision but gentle collection of single cells and cell colonies (stem cells, iPS cells, tissue culture cells & primary cells). The harvest process allows a gentle cell uptake directly from the culture plate without pre-treatment. Using this technology, highest survival rate and cell integrity are guaranteed for preparative as well as analytical purposes. CellCelector service can be requested with partial or full time assistance of SCCU's personnel.

SCCU will not transfer submitted for service cells to any third parties. The unit for such matters is viewed as an extension-lab of the participating research laboratories.