Ultrasensitive and rapid quantification of rare tumorigenic stem cells in hPSC-derived cardiomyocyte populations

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Science Advances  20 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 12, eaay7629
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay7629


The ability to detect rare human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) in differentiated populations is critical for safeguarding the clinical translation of cell therapy, as these undifferentiated cells have the capacity to form teratomas in vivo. The detection of hPSCs must be performed using an approach compatible with traceable manufacturing of therapeutic cell products. Here, we report a novel microfluidic approach, stem cell quantitative cytometry (SCQC), for the quantification of rare hPSCs in hPSC-derived cardiomyocyte (CM) populations. This approach enables the ultrasensitive capture, profiling, and enumeration of trace levels of hPSCs labeled with magnetic nanoparticles in a low-cost, manufacturable microfluidic chip. We deploy SCQC to assess the tumorigenic risk of hPSC-derived CM populations in vivo. In addition, we isolate rare hPSCs from the differentiated populations using SCQC and characterize their pluripotency.

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