Innovation Showcases

Thursday, 25 June

    Fluidigm Corporation
    Biological Industries

  • Optimizing Ex Vivo Expansion, Differentiation and DMSO-Free Cryopreservation of Mesenchymal Stem/ StromalCells
    Room: Room A2

    Cyndi Kwan, Ph.D., Senior Scientist II, R&D Department, Irvine Scientific
    Jessie H.-T. Ni, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, R&D Department, Irvine Scientific

    Mesenchymal stem/ stromal cells (MSCs) have been studied in recent years as a potential therapeutic tool for clinical applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. These cells have the capacity to differentiate into cells within the mesodermal tissue lineage, including adipose, cartilage, and bone. Beyond their differentiation potential, MSCs also display immunosuppressive properties, which have generated great interests in their ability to suppress local inflammation and tissue damage from a variety of inflammatory autoimmune diseases. A key component in supporting these applications and approaches involves the successful ex vivo expansion of MSCs to relevant therapeutic doses while retaining functional properties. In this workshop, we will review how MSC cultures have evolved in recent decades and focus on our newest products, that have been developed to improve MSC ex vivo expansion by reducing variability from animal-derived components. We will present data on our latest xeno-free expansion medium and our DMSO-free cryopreservation solution. In addition, we will also highlight key steps that can be implemented to ensure optimized scalability from bench to bedside applications.

  • Smart Technologies for Advancing Stem Cell Research and Discoveries
    Room: Room A4

    Minh Hong Ph.D., Lonza Stem Cells Marketing Manager, Moderator
    Pollyanna Goh, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Centre for Genomics and Child Health, Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London
    Behnam Ahamadian, Ph.D., Lonza Senior Manager, Scientific PSC Programs
    Richard L. Gieseck III, Ph.D. Candidate, NIH-Cambridge Scholar, Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Stem Cell Institute, Anne McLaren Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Surgery, University of Cambridge

    To fully realize the potentials of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) for research and clinical applications, Lonza has developed reliable cell culture systems and live imaging technologies to generate, expand, and monitor hiPSC discoveries. Presenting will be three examples from innovative researchers supported by Lonza technologies. Dr. Pollyanna Goh, Queen Mary University of London, will describe hiPSC generation from infant Down Syndrome patients. These hiPSCs can be reprogrammed from small amounts of blood utilizing Lonza L7™. Next, Dr. Behnam Ahamadian, Lonza Senior Manager, will present Lonza L7™ technology for manufacturing of hiPSCs from peripheral blood using non-integrating, defined, cGMP compatible, and xeno-free conditions employing CytoSMART™ technology for live monitoring of hiPSC cultures. We will conclude with Richard L. Gieseck, NIH-Cambridge Scholar and University of Cambridge, presenting a novel high-throughput culture method using pluripotent stem cell derived hepatocytes (PSC-Heps) cultured in 3D using the Lonza RAFT™ culture system. These PSC-Heps demonstrate a significant improvement in hepatocyte maturation markers, functional longevity, and drug metabolism.

  • Bridging the Gap Between Cell Biology, Genomics, and Single-Cell Analysis
    Room: Room A6

    Adam Gracze, PhD., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    Candia Brown, Fluidigm

    We strive to partner with customers to pursue truth in the complex biological world. Leveraging our core technologies, microfluidics and mass cytometry, we provide simplified and elegant workflows for single-cell approaches to genomics and proteomics applications. Our C1™ and Biomark™ systems enabled the field of single-cell genomics. Partner with us on your quest to characterize and understand individual cell function. Engage with us at

  • An Innovative Serum-Free, Xeno-Free, Culture System for Expansion and Differentiation of Clinical Grade Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells
    Room: Victoria Hall

    David Fiorentini, Biological Industries

    Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are multipotent adult stem cells that can be isolated from variety of human tissues such as bone marrow, adipose, placenta, cord blood and Wharton jelly. hMSC have the ability to differentiate into bone, cartilage and fat cells and are the subject of many clinical trials for a range of regenerative and inflammatory diseases.
    In most clinical applications hMSC are expanded in vitro before use. The quality of the culture media and auxiliary solutions is particularly crucial with regard to therapeutic applications, since hMSC properties can be significantly affected by medium components and culture conditions.

    The presentation addressed the development of an innovative xeno-free culture system, comprising of MSC NutriStem® XF culture medium and the required auxiliary solutions to support isolation, expansion and cryopreservation of clinical grade hMSC. In addition, novel serum-free, xeno-free differentiation media that efficiently generate mature adipocytes, osteoblasts and chondrocytes using hMSC from variety of sources.

  • Derivation of clinically relevant iPS cell lines from human blood-derived endothelial progenitor cells using self-replicative RNA
    Room: Room K1

    Sarah Eminli-Meissner, Ph.D., Stemgent

    Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells provides a unique, potentially limitless source of starting cells for regenerative medicine research and application. Ultimately the translation of iPS cell technology to the clinic for autologous cellular therapy with differentiated cell types will require comprehensive GMP-compatible workflows that are inclusive of integration-free derivation of iPS cells from easily obtainable patient-specific cell sources such as human blood.

    We will present novel data demonstrating the unique application of microRNA and self-replicative RNA (srRNA) for the reproducible cellular reprogramming of human blood-outgrowth endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) lines derived from human peripheral blood and cord blood. The simple two transfection no-split protocol is carried out on extracellular matrix and does not require any conditioned medium during the reprogramming process. Derived integration-free EPC-iPS cell lines exhibit unique genetic stability, making them an exceptional choice for applications requiring clinical grade iPS cells. Additional data will be presented demonstrating the applicability of this novel reprogramming methodology to other cell types, including adult human fibroblasts.

Friday, 26 June
Industry Presentations 11:30-12:30

  • STEMCELL Technologies

  • Session A: Rapid and quantitative assessment of human pluripotent cell differentiation potential
    Room: Room A2

    Alexander Meissner, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Harvard Stem Cell Institute

    Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) can give rise to all cell types in the body and therefore hold enormous potential for tissue engineering and disease modeling. However, variation between PSC lines and culture conditions is a practical concern for both basic research as well as clinical applications and requires efficient and accurate ways of screening lines for their differentiation potential. Current characterization generally includes immunofluorescence staining for selected markers, in vitro differentiation and teratoma formation. We have previously shown that gene expression signatures can provide informative results that correlate well with established measures of differentiation efficiency. Here we describe a new qPCR-based assay and computational analysis that enables a faster, more quantitative assessment. We provide an in-depth characterization of the new signature panel through random and directed differentiation experiments as well as a comparison to the teratoma assay. We also demonstrate the utility of this platform for screening small molecules, genetic perturbations and assessing culture conditions, which can be easily extended to other cell types and lineages.

    Session B: Developing a patient-derived cardiac disease modeling platform to accelerate early stage drug discovery for heart disease
    Room: Room A2

    Andrew Lee, Ph.D, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Stem Cell Theranostics, Inc.

    Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. While there have been substantial improvements in healthcare options for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, there are few effective therapies for acquired or genetic heart disease.  The development of novel therapies for heart disease has been hampered by high failure rates due to the lack of pre-clinical models that predict clinical efficacy and toxicity.  At Stem Cell Theranostics, we have developed a discovery platform that enables drug testing in patient-derived heart disease models. In this presentation we will describe a disease modeling case study using donor cells that harbor genetic forms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). After expansion of fibroblasts or CD71+ erythroid progenitor cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were generated using the CytoTune®-iPS 2.0 Reprogramming Kit from Thermo Fisher Scientific and characterized for self renewal markers and karyotypic integrity. Cardiomyocytes were prepared using the Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Gibco® PSC Cardiomyocyte Differentiation Kit. Finally, the cells were analyzed for presentation of disease phenotypes using a combination of traditional and phenotypic assays.

  • Culture systems for the safe amplification and in vitro organogenesis of human pluripotent cells

    Room: Room A4

    (Chair) Professor Tariq Enver, PhD, University College London Cancer Institute
    Professor Dr. Jeanne Loring, PhD,
    The Scripps Research Institute, Center for Regenerative Medicine, La Jolla California
    Associate Professor Takanori Takebe MD
    , Department of Regenerative Medicine, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine

    Realizing the full potential of human pluripotent cells in regenerative medicine requires in vitro systems that (i) afford expansion of genetically uncompromised cells and (ii) support the differentiation of pluripotent cells into functional effector cells in the context of organogenesis.

    Realizing the full potential of human pluripotent cells in regenerative medicine requires in vitro systems that (i) afford expansion of genetically uncompromised cells and (ii) support the differentiation of pluripotent cells into functional effector cells in the context of organogenesis.

    In this symposium, Jeanne Loring from The Scripps Institute in La jolla, USA, will explore how pluripotent cells acquire mutations upon prolonged in vitro culture. Such mutation may impact cell fate choices including self-renewal, differentiation, migration and survival. The development of culture conditions that maintain pluripotent cells in a pristine genetic state is a prerequisite for the safe generation of therapeutic cells. Lineage specified cells are key to therapy but increasing attention is focusing on their integration into in vitro generated organs.

    In respect of this, Takanori Takebe, from the Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine Japan, will present recent findings on the development of 4-D culture systems to develop organ buds from induced pluripotent cells for therapeutic purposes.

  • Session A: Methods and Culture Reagents to Maintain a Spectrum of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell States from Naïve-Like to Primed

    Room: Room A6

    Wing Chang, Scientist

    Recent advances have shown that culture conditions can shift human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) between different pluripotent states: from ground or naïve-like to primed states. This presentation will describe the application of culture conditions (RSeT™ product line) to reset primed hPSCs to a naïve-like state and examine their distinct characteristics. The tutorial will highlight STEMCELL Technologies’ integrated workflow for maintaining multiple pluripotent stem cell states and their subsequent downstream differentiation under defined culture conditions.

    Session B: Integrated Workflow for Reproducibly Modeling Neurological Disease Using Neuronal Subtypes and Astrocytes Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
    Room: Room A6

    Vivian Lee, Senior Scientist
    Xianmin Zeng, XCell Science Inc. and Buck Institute

    Mature neural cell types derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are valuable tools for modeling human nervous system development and neurodegenerative disorders. Reliable and reproducible generation of hPSC-derived neural cells, including neuronal and glial subtypes, requires robust protocols, rigorously optimized and standardized reagents. Here we describe a comprehensive, integrated workflow that will enable researchers to efficiently and reproducibly generate neuronal subtypes and astrocytes from normal and diseased hPSCs.

  • Stem cell culture, differentiation and scale-up – novel technologies enabling  research and cell processing applications

    Room: Victoria Hall

    Paula Flaherty, Technology Manager
    Deepa Saxena, Ph.D., Senior Development Scientist

    Current stem cell applications make them critical for basic and clinical research. Required is the ability to expand undifferentiated cells and differentiate into specific cell types with homogeneity. We will discuss robust, easy to use, reproducible, scalable systems, including feeder-free and novel animal-free platforms for pluripotent and adult stem cell culture and differentiation, including Matrigel Matrix, pre-coated recombinant Laminin521, Fibronectin/ Collagen-I / Vitronectin peptide mimetic cultureware, hMSC expansion media, scalable vessel platforms and closed systems.

  • Standardized Stem Cell Differentiation: From Kits to Individualized Protocols
    Room: Room K1

    Joy Aho, Bio-Techne

    Differentiated stem cell populations are increasingly used in regenerative medicine and toxicology screening. These studies require development of standardized differentiation protocols that minimize cross-experiment variability. Here we present tools and techniques to standardize stem cell differentiation for both novice and expert researchers, including various R&D Systems™ reagents and Tocris™ small molecules that simplify the development of consistent individualized protocols. We will also discuss ELISAs, Luminex® assays, and antibody-based arrays for stem cell analysis.

Saturday, 27 June
Industry Presentations 12:00-12:30

  • Flow Cytometric Applications for Determining the Quality of Stem Cell Cultures
    Room: Room A2

    Nil Emre, BD Biosciences

    Heterogeneous stem cell populations need to be readily characterized and quantified to fully realize their utility. Utilizing pluripotent stem cells, MSCs, and neural, cardiac, and endodermal cells differentiated from hESCs as examples, this tutorial will discuss:

         > The use of cell surface and intracellular flow cytometry to address cellular heterogeneity
          > Effective stem cell sorting techniques to improve purity
          > Novel fluorochromes to facilitate flow cytometry and immunofluorescence panel design
  • From Research to GMP Manufacturing:  A Guide to Translating Your Process

    Room: Room A4

    Julie Murrell, Stem Cell Bioprocessing Group, EMD Millipore

    When making the translation from research to the clinic, demonstrating efficacy is only the first step to a successful product.  Long-term commercial viability requires early process scalability coupled with high quality ancillary materials that offer a safe and sustainable supply.

    We will present a model for translating a human bone marrow MSC flask based process to a scalable manufacturing process including media, reagents, bioreactor expansion, and harvest.   Maintaining key quality attributes at all scales is a focus along with assays to consider for demonstrating equivalence between processes.

    A well thought out strategy for GMP processing requirements from phase I trials to commercialization is essential in successfully translating a potential therapy to a commercial product.

  • Towards clinical workflows for generating iPSCs and functional derivatives
    Room: Room A6

    Dr. Sebastian Knöbel, Miltenyi Biotec GmbH

    We developed workflows for standardized preparations of primary fibroblasts, integration-free reprogramming, maintenance of pluripotency, and modulation of PSCs using modified mRNAs. For successful translation, regulatory requirements call for highest quality reagents, such as GMP media, cytokines, and antibodies. Likewise, cell product optimization through cell sorting and automation play pivotal roles in realizing PSC-derived cellular therapies. Therefore, we explore solutions for iPS-derived cellular therapy candidates, such as dopaminergic progenitors.

  • Large Particle Flow Cytometry for Cells and Cell Clusters in Stem Cell Research
    Room: Victoria Hall

    Rock Pulak, Ph.D., Union Biometrica, Inc.

    Cells growing in clusters communicate with each other and behave differently than cells grown as monolayers or in suspension. These interactions are likely to be important for proper function. Union Biometrica Large Particle Flow Cytometers automate the analysis, sorting and dispensing of objects too big (10-1500 microns) or too fragile for traditional cytometers including those studied by stem cell researchers such as embryoid bodies, neurospheres and other spheroids and organoids.

  • Live cell analysis of cancer stem cell heterogeneity based on intracellular biomarkers and fluorescent labelling of ALDHpos cells
    Room: Room K1

    Vi Chu, Ph.D., Manager II, R&D, Assays & Platform Technologies, EMD Millipore
    Victor Koong, Product Manager, EMD Millipore

    Phenotypic and functional heterogeneity are common among the cells within a tumor. Self-renewing cancer stem cells (CSC) are thought to drive tumor growth and recurrence, having important implications for cancer therapy. While there are many methods for detecting specific markers within the cells of interest such as antibodies or gene expression analysis, they are traditionally end point assays as they require cell destruction by permeabilization or lysis. We will show two live cell analysis tools that can be applied to the study of cancer stem cells. SmartFlare™ Probes enable live cell characterization utilizing a probe-based method to detect specific RNA at the single cell level. Additionally, our AldeRed 588A Reagent can be used to characterize cancer and cancer stem cell functionality based upon a red-shifted fluorescent substrate for the detection of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity. Since both technologies are based on fluorescence, the live cells can potentially be sorted by FACS and effectively enriched for further culture and downstream functional assays.