Published online Jan 26, 2020. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v12.i1.25
Peer-review started: April 3, 2019
First decision: August 23,2019
Revised: September 30, 2019
Accepted: December 13, 2019
Article in press: December 13, 2019
Published online: January 26, 2020
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are invaluable resources for producing high-quality differentiated cells in unlimited quantities for both basic research and clinical use. They are particularly useful for studying human disease mechanisms in vitro by making it possible to circumvent the ethical issues of human embryonic stem cell research. However, significant limitations exist when using conventional flat culturing methods especially concerning cell expansion, differentiation efficiency, stability maintenance and multicellular 3D structure establishment, differentiation prediction. Embryoid bodies (EBs), the multicellular aggregates spontaneously generated from iPSCs in the suspension system, might help to address these issues. Due to the unique microenvironment and cell communication in EB structure that a 2D culture system cannot achieve, EBs have been widely applied in hiPSC-derived differentiation and show significant advantages especially in scaling up culturing, differentiation efficiency enhancement, ex vivo simulation, and organoid establishment. EBs can potentially also be used in early prediction of iPSC differentiation capability. To improve the stability and feasibility of EB-mediated differentiation and generate high quality EBs, critical factors including iPSC pluripotency maintenance, generation of uniform morphology using micro-pattern 3D culture systems, proper cellular density inoculation, and EB size control are discussed on the basis of both published data and our own laboratory experiences. Collectively, the production of a large quantity of homogeneous EBs with high quality is important for the stability and feasibility of many PSCs related studies.
Core tip:Embryoid body (EB) mediated induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) differentiation shows great advantages in culture scale-up, differentiation efficiency improvement, ex vivo simulation and organoid establishment. To improve the stability and feasibility of high quality EB generation, factors including iPSC pluripotency maintenance, generation of uniform morphology using micro-pattern 3D culture systems, proper cellular density inoculation and EB size control need to be considered.