Methods for The Generation of Self Renewing Endodermal Precursor Populations

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Background
Cell-based therapies for disease of endodermally derived organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines have gained significant interest. In addition to cell-based treatment strategies, there is a proven value in screening drugs in cellular models of the organ systems during development process. Commonly this screening is performed on induced pluripotent stem cells that require a complex and lengthy process to create a differentiated cell type from these cells for each screen. There is a need for a simpler method to create endodermal progenitor cells for both treatment and screening purposes.
Technology Overview
CHOP investigators have an issued patent on a protocol that can be used to create self-renewing endodermal progenitor cells using pluripotent stem cells. The key step in this protocol is the contact of the differentiating stem cells with Activin A in serum free differentiation medium. Our investigators have shown that these self-renewing endodermal progenitor cells can be induced to form pancreatic islet cells that respond to glucose, hepatocytes, intestinal cells, neuroectodermal as well as mesodermal cells. This simple protocol for creation of endodermal progenitor cells can be applied broadly to the creation of varied endodermal derived cell types for cell-based therapies and cell-based screening assays.
Stage of Development
In vitro proof of concept.
Benefits

Cells are self-renewing
Simple protocol reduces time required to create differentiated cell

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