A core area of our research in the field of biodistribution of cell therapies is immunohistochemical detection of hematopoietic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells in tissues and whole-organ slices of laboratory animals, even if the number of cells distributed throughout the body is low. For this purpose, a broad spectrum of antibodies is established at Fraunhofer ITEM. In view of safety aspects and registration, histopathology and immunohistochemistry are performed under GLP conditions.
A risk of stem cell therapies is the formation of teratomas. These germ cell tumors can be induced by injection of pluripotent stem cells into immunodeficient mice. During tumor growth, the injected stem cells differentiate into cell types from all three germ layers, reflecting embryonic development to a certain degree. With the broad range of methods we have at our disposal, teratoma formation can be assessed as an endpoint in toxicology studies.