Step 1: Differentiate iPSCs into Hemogenic Endothelial Cells
Step 2: Differentiate Hemogenic Endothelial Cells into Megakaryocyte Progenitor Cells

Step 3: MK Maturation and Blood Platelet Generation

Step 1

  1. Reprogrammed human iPSC cell lines are cultured on a Matrigel –coated surface with mTeSR1 medium
  2. Confluent iPSCs are dissociated using cell dissociation buffer (CDB) and resuspended in fresh mTeSR1 medium + 10 µM Y27632
  3. Cells are seeded on human collagen IV-coated plates (5 µg/cm2)
  4. Incubate at 37°C for 24hrs at 5% CO2 / 20% O2
  5. After 24hrs change media to an animal –component free media for human hematopoietic expansion + 50 ng/ml of human VEGF, BMP4 and FGF Basic
  6. Culture 4 days under hypoxic conditions - 5% CO2 / 5% O2, then 2 days at 5% CO2 / 20% O2
    50 – 60% of attached cells should be CD31+ indicative of differentiated hemogenic endothelial-like cells

Step 2

  1. Change media to an animal-component free media for differentiating human ESCs and iPSCs + 25 ng/ml of  human TPO, human SCF, human Flt-3 ligand, 10 ng/ml of IL-3 and IL-6, and 5 U/ml of heparin
  2. Culture 1- 5 days
  3. The majority of floating cell should be Megakaryotype Progenitor Cells  (MKPs) with the following surface marker expression: CD31+, CD34+, CD43+, CD41a+, CD13+, CD14-, CD42+/-
  4. Collect and seed in new plates for megakaryocyte maturation and platelet generation

Step 3

  1. MKPs should be cultured in ultra-low attachment plates with animal component free media for hematopoietic expansion + TPO, SCF, IL-6, IL-9 and heparin
  2. Cells should be cultured for 4 – 9 days, at 7% CO2 and 39°C, using fresh media each day for at least the first 4 days. For the first 3 days the media should include 5µM Y27632
  3. Once proplatelet morphology has occurred (day 6-9) platelets should be collected and analyzed for CD41a+/CD42b+ purity

Step 4: Blood platelet collection

  1. Large megakaryocytes should be removed first by centrifuging at low speed 50 x g for 10 minutes
  2. Next remove small megakaryocytes and proplatelets by centrifuging 300 x g for 10 minutes
  3. iPSC-generated platelets can then be collected by centrifuging at 1,000 – 2,500 x g for 10 minutes in the presence of 1µM PGE1
  4. iPSC pellets should then be purified using a BSA gradient centrifugation

Protocol adapted from:

Scalable Generation of Universal Platelets from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Stem Cell Reports (2014) Feng, Q et al. 3:817-831.


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