Unlocking Our Cells


Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have the potential to revolutionise personalised medicine. To achieve this, the intra-cellular molecular mechanisms that can be utilised to create and differentiate iPSCs need to be investigated. This literature review shows that reprogramming somatic cells is conducted through altering the pluripotency of cells by changing specific processes, such as introducing the transcription factors OSKM using retroviruses. However, there is a preference for avoiding the use of retroviruses to induce pluripotency, due to an increased risk of cancer. An alternative method entails the use of a cocktail of small molecules called VC6TFZ. The resulting iPSCs can then be differentiated into a desired tissue-type. This is more efficient if they are taken from the same somatic sub-lineage as the target tissue, as the cells' epigenetic memory predisposes it towards the same sub-lineage. Directed differentiation can be used to create organoids, which are used in personalised medicine research.


Original Research



Publication date

February 2021


222 - 225