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DRVision advances induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) reprogramming and colony selection



Reliable, real-time selection of successfully reprogrammed iPS colonies can be made within seventy-two hours of their formation using time-lapse imaging and new kinetic image pattern recognition technology.

DRVision Technologies LLC, pioneer in teachable image recognition applications, has developed a new method for reliable, real-time selection of successfully reprogrammed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell colonies without the use of fluorescent reporters. The method applies DRVision’s proprietary kinetic image pattern recognition technologies (patent pending) to image sequences of patient cells undergoing reprogramming to select iPS colonies as they first emerge. This method could shorten required reprogramming iPS colony selection time three fold. To commercialize the technology for broad deployment in stem cell research and production laboratories, DRVision is validating the method using a variety of protocols and cell types.

Currently, there is no method to reliably and objectively select successfully reprogrammed colonies in real time. Selection is performed by experts, or by using cell surface stemness markers, at the end of reprogramming (four weeks post-transduction). DRVision’s kinetic image pattern recognition technologies combined with time-lapse video microscopy can be used to identify which colonies will become successfully reprogrammed within the first 72 hours of their emergence. This could greatly shorten colony selection time and reduce the number of colonies needed for expansion.

“This technology could be a key enabler for patient-specific cell production for personalized medicine and drug discovery applications.” said Dr. James Lee, President and CEO of DRVision and principal investigator on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-funded project. “It could facilitate the transition of iPS technology to the clinic for use by technicians who are not stem cell experts.”

The project involves close collaboration between DRVision, Dr. Lee Rubin, Director of Translational Medicine, Dr. Chad Cowan, Director of the iPS Cell Core Facility at Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology and Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and Nikon Corporation.

DRVision plans to have a prototype selection software ready in time for 2013 annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in June in Boston. DRVision will also be exhibiting this week at the American Society for Cell Biology conference in San Francisco (booth 1335). Those interested in early access to the technology are encouraged to stop by the booth to discuss the project.

The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health