Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs): uprising in favor of Medical Biotechnology

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Review Paper 01/10/2013
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Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs): uprising in favor of Medical Biotechnology

Abstract

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) are stem cells that are reprogrammed genetically from somatic cells to exhibit pluripotent characteristics. The generation of iPSCs from somatic cells demonstrated that adult mammalian cells can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent state by the enforced expression of a few embryonic transcription factors. Pluripotent stem cells possess the unique property of differentiating into all other cell types. The discovery iPSCs in 2006 has led new avenues and dimension in clinical medicine. In addition, iPSC technology has provided researchers with a unique tool to derive disease-specific stem cells for the study and possible treatment of degenerative disorders with autologous cells. These models can also be used to study the safety and efficacy of known drugs or potential drug candidates for a particular diseased condition, limiting the need for animal studies and considerably reducing the time and money required to develop new drugs. Recently, functional neurons, cardiomyocytes, pancreatic islet cells, hepatocytes and retinal cells have been derived from human iPSCs, thus re-confirming the pluripotency and differentiation capacity of these cells. These findings further open up the possibility of using iPSCs in cell replacement therapy for various degenerative disorders. iPSC are also uprising to develop personalized treatment, vaccination system, toxicological and pharmacological screening those are very important sector related to Medical Biotechnology.

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