Pluripotent Stem Cell Banks

  • Begoña Aran
  • Ángel Raya
  • Anna VeigaEmail author


 Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are pluripotent stem cells that can be obtained from the inner cell mass (ICM) of blastocyst-stage pre-implantation embryos. The first lines of human ESC (hESC) were derived by Thomson et al. in 1998. These cells can be indefinitely cultured in vitro and differentiated into different cell types. These cell lines constitute an excellent source of cells for the study of human genetics and gene expression patterns and as a tool to understand the events that take place during human embryo development. These cell lines can also be useful for drug screening and for the disease modelling. In 2006, Takahashi and Yamanaka first introduced the technology of induced reprogramming to pluripotency in the mouse and later in human cells. These induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are generated through the reprogramming of somatic cells back to an embryonic-like state. The reprogramming process is induced by the addition of exogenous reprogramming factors. Human iPSC (hiPSC) technology avoids the destruction of human embryos and the ethical debate involved. Moreover, patient-specific iPSC can be obtained by this technology providing unprecedented opportunities, not only in regenerative medicine but also in basic research as disease models, drug discovery and toxicology. The emerging demands of stem cell research and applications require the establishment and cooperation of centralized banks at a translational and even global scale. This will ensure the availability of high-quality hPSC using standardized state-of-the-art methods and strategies to deal with a heterogeneous regulatory, ethical and legal landscape. Furthermore, stem cell banks are essential for the distribution of cell lines among research centres, promoting scientific collaboration and facilitating widespread use of the cells for research and clinical applications.


Embryonic stem cells Induced pluripotent stem cells Banking Clinical trials Disease models 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona (CMRB)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.National Stem Cell Bank-Barcelona Node, Biomolecular and Bioinformatics Resources Platform PRB2, ISCIII, CMRBBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Institució Catalana de Recerca I Estudis Avançats (ICREA)BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Center for Networked Biomedical Research on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN)MadridSpain

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