Stem Cell Reviews and Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 100–115

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Fundamentals and Applications of the Reprogramming Process and its Ramifications on Regenerative Medicine

  • Bhavita Walia
  • Neeraj Satija
  • Rajendra Prashad Tripathi
  • Gurudutta U. Gangenahalli

DOI: 10.1007/s12015-011-9279-x

Cite this article as:
Walia, B., Satija, N., Tripathi, R.P. et al. Stem Cell Rev and Rep (2012) 8: 100. doi:10.1007/s12015-011-9279-x



To provide a comprehensive source of information about the reprogramming process and induced pluripotency.


The ability of stem cells to renew their own population and to differentiate into specialized cell types has always attracted researchers looking to exploit this potential for cellular replacement therapies, pharmaceutical testing and studying developmental pathways. While adult stem cell therapy has already been brought to the clinic, embryonic stem cell research has been beset with legal and ethical impediments.


The conversion of human somatic cells to human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), which are equivalent to human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), provides a system to sidestep these barriers and expedite pluripotent stem cell research for the aforementioned purposes. However, being a very recent discovery, iPSCs have yet to overcome many other obstacles and criticism to be proven safe and feasible for clinical use.


This review introduces iPSC, the various methods that have been used to generate them and their pros and cons. It also covers in detail the pluripotency factors responsible for iPSC generation as well as the signaling pathways, epigenetic modifications and miRNA regulation implicated in the reprogramming process. The known molecular crosstalk between these reprogramming regulators is also illuminated. We will also mention the molecular compounds which have been shown to either replace one or more genetic factors or improve overall efficiency and kinetics of iPSC induction.


To conclude, we will briefly discuss the current problems that hinder bench to bedside translation of iPSC research as well as the possible steps that can bring iPSC therapy and other potential applications closer to fruition.


Induced pluripotent stem cells iPSCs Embryonic stem cells Regenerative medicine Cell therapy Reprogramming factors Oct4 Sox2 Nanog 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bhavita Walia
    • 1
  • Neeraj Satija
    • 1
  • Rajendra Prashad Tripathi
    • 2
  • Gurudutta U. Gangenahalli
    • 1
  1. 1.Stem Cell and Gene Therapy GroupInstitute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences, Defense Research & Development OrganizationDelhiIndia
  2. 2.NMR Research CenterInstitute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences, Defense Research & Development OrganizationDelhiIndia

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