Stem Cell Reviews and Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 145–150

Great Expectations: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Technologies


DOI: 10.1007/s12015-014-9497-0

Cite this article as:
Liu, E.Y. & Scott, C.T. Stem Cell Rev and Rep (2014) 10: 145. doi:10.1007/s12015-014-9497-0


New applications of iPSC technology to research on complex idiopathic conditions raise several important ethical and social considerations for potential research participants and their families. In this short review, we examine these issues through the lens of emerging research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We begin by describing the current state of iPSC technology in research on ASD. Then we discuss how the social history of and current controversies in autism research combined with the emergence of autism-specific iPSC biobanks indicate an urgent need for researchers to clearly communicate the limitations and possibilities of iPSC research to ensure research participants have the ability to provide fully informed, voluntary consent. We conclude by offering recommendations to bolster informed consent for research involving iPSC biobanks, both in the specific context of ASD and more broadly.


Induced pluripotent stem cells Human embryonic stem cells Autism spectrum disorder Biobanks Ethics Informed consent Patient autonomy 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford University Center for Biomedical EthicsStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Stanford University Program on Stem Cells in SocietyStanfordUSA

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