International Stem Cell Forum (ISCF) ISCI-1 Characterising Line Initiative

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield


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Technical Summary

The International Stem Cell Initiative (ISCI) is a global effort to systematically characterize as many human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines as possible, linking a consortium of laboratories form a number of countries. The initiative was organised through the International Stem Cell Forum, funded in part by MRC. The project has afforded the opportunity to collect comprehensive background information on the individual cell lines such derivation conditions and subsequent maintenance.
The UK Stem Cell Bank has provided the reference hub for the project and faciltiated standardisation of the assays used to charcterise the hES cell lines.
ISCI1 focused upon systematically defining key features of hES cells and establishing whether the different lines established in different laboratories do indeed share common features. Cell lines were analyzed for surface antigens by flow cytometry and genes by quantitative PCR. The data is being used to form the basis for the ISCI Human ES Cell Registry. The Initiative has also laid the groundwork for active interaction and collaboration between the groups working on hES cell biology around the world, and as part of the programme, two international workshops have been held to enable participating groups to meet, discuss the results and plan future Initiatives.
Building on the success of ISCI1 (1 July 2003-28 February 2007), the second Initiative, ISCI2 (1 March 2007 to 30 June 2012), focussed upon comparing the performance of different media for the culture of hES cells, and assessing the types of genetic change that accumulate in hES cells upon prolonged passage. ISCI2 also included provision for collecting data on new hES cells lines and incorporating these data into the ISCI Registry.
The aim of ISCI3 (1 July 2012-31 December 2017) was to establish common protocols for defining and comparing the pluripotent capacity of different human ES and iPS cells.


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