Generation of Human Pancreatic Progenitors from Pluripotent Stem Cells

ID# 2018-4800
Differentiation to PDX1 + PP Cells

Technology Summary

Penn State researchers have developed growth factor-free differentiation methods to derive definitive endoderm (DE), pancreatic progenitors (PPs), and beta cells from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Designed to mimic in vivo pancreatic organogenesis, these novel differentiation protocols are growth factor free, low cost per reaction, high-efficiency, and efficient for multiple hPSC/iPSC lines. Penn State Professor, Dr. Lance Lian (project lead) previously co-invented growth factor-free differentiation protocols for cardiomyocytes, which has yielded multiple commercially available products.

Application & Market Utility

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is one of the most common endocrine disorders in children, resulting in little or no insulin production by the pancreas. T1D results from insulin deficiency caused by the loss of beta cells as the result of an aberrant autoimmune response. Currently available beta cell differentiation protocols require high concentrations of growth factors, which result in low differentiation efficiency and high cost. In contrast, the present invention is a growth-factor free protocol that generates PP and/or beta cells by optimizing DE and PP differentiation. It is expected that this novel Penn State technology will enable large-scale and cost-effective production of quality-controlled DE, PP, and beta cells for use in academic and industrial settings. Possible applications include T1D research, drug discovery, and even cell therapy.

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