Pluripotent stem cells

Pluripotent Stem Cells

Sebastian Diecke


Pluripotent stem cells are unique tools for closing the gap between the identification of disease-causing molecules or cellular mechanisms and the development of suitable therapeutic approaches. Specifically the development of patient specific disease models will be of major importance.

The mission of the BIH Core Facility Stem Cells is to support basic and translational research by facilitating all aspects of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) technology including the derivation, differentiation and distribution of humaniPS cell lines. Additionally, the facility will provide scientists with state of the art protocols and techniques for proper handling and manipulation of human pluripotent stem cells. Furthermore, the Core Facility will organize several hands-on training courses of standardized pluripotent stem cell culture techniques.

The facility has two locations to best serve the researchers at BIH, one at the Charité Campus Virchow-Klinikum (CVK, Wedding), and the other is located at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC, Berlin-Buch).

One main objective of the Pluripotent Stem Cell Core (PSCC) at the MDC is to provide scientists at the MDC and Berlin with standardized protocols to derive, maintain and manipulate pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). Additionally the facility offers a reprogramming service and access to characterized induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as well as to more specialized cell types. In cooperation with the individual researchers the core facility also helps to establish and validate new linage specific differentiation protocols. Another focus of the core is the targeted iPS cell engineering using Crispr/Cas9 or TALEN technology generating reporter as well as knock in or knock out human iPSC cell lines.

We also offer project consulting using iPSCs technologies like directed differentiation and genome engineering and individual hands on training courses.

The PSCC was established September 2014 by funding of the Berlin Institute of health (BIH) and the German Center for Cardiovascular Disease (DZHK) to further increase the basic and translational research activity in Berlin.

So just contact us and we try to help.

Further information can be found on the BIH Stem Cells website.


Pluripotent Stem Cells

Induction of pluripotency is one of the most important scientific discoveries within the last few years. This technique allows researchers to obtain pluripotent stem cells without the controversial destruction of embryos, providing a novel and powerful tool for disease modeling and drug screening approaches.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have characteristics and differentiation capacities similar to embryonic stem cell and also give rise to tissues of all three germ layers as well as whole organisms. Therefore iPSCs provide an unlimited source of proliferating cells without loss of functionality. The use of iPSCs has tremendous advantages in broad research areas of molecular mechanisms of diseases, drug testing, development of regeneration therapies and may pave the avenue towards personalized medicine.


The description of the induction of pluripotency dramatically altered the previous dogma of cellular differentiation as a unidirectional, nonreversible developmental process, resulting in a paradigm shift in the field of developmental biology. For the breakthrough discovery Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka were jointly awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent”.


Service and Technology

From somatic cell isolation to application

Our Focus Areas:

Genome Engineering


We apply our expertise in different types of CRISPR/Cas genome engineering methods in order to facilitate flexible and affordable gene-editing services in pluripotent stem cells.

Cardiac differentiation


Human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes have become an invaluable component in many cardiac disease modelling, drug screening, and toxicology studies. We provide well established and standardised workflows for QC and handling of hiPSC-CMs, including functional analysis.

Neuronal differentiation and Organoids



iPSCs offer unprecedented opportunities to study human brain developmental processes and disease. We provide knowledge-base and expertise for researchers interested in working with human iPSC-derived neural stem cells, functional neurons and glia cells. 

Training and Protocol development


Together with the BIH Core Facility Stem Cells we organize regular trainings on iPSC methodologies. The training is intended for researchers and technicians who are planning projects using human iPSCs and/or will start working with hiPSCs in the near future.

  • Current trainings: iPSC maintenance culture
  • In planning: Specialized trainings (Genome editing, Organoid differentiation)

Other Services:

  • Somatic cell isolation
  • Reprogramming and quality control
  • Banking and provision of cells
  • Differentiation into other cell types
  • Project consultation
  • Ressources (protocols, validated antibodies and primers,..)


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