Dinesh Varma

CHENNAI: The Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences at Japan’s Kyoto University is tying up with Chennai-based Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) for research on induced Pluripotent stem cells – the genetic material that is being seen as an alternative to the controversial work on embryonic stem cells.

By harvesting skin fibroblast from the adult, iPS cells are injected with a set of four genes and cultured in high-end laboratories to generate multiple cell lines.

“The iPS cells equip the scientific community pressing for cell-based treatment protocols with a substitute for working with embryonic stem cells, where the loss of the embryo has raised serious ethical concerns worldwide,” Samuel Abraham, NCRM director told The Hindu.

“The key benefit is that cell proliferation is expandable several-fold, whereas available harvesting techniques involving the patient’s own bone marrow maintain integrity only up to three to five passages or generations,” Dr. Abraham said.