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Reversible immortalization method for generation of homogenous, stable & authentic human cell lines

Researchers of Leiden University Medical Center have discovered a broadly applicable immortalization method for mammalian (including human) cells.

This method allows expansion and redifferentation of your cell type of choice through gene transfer and simple changes in culture medium composition.

One way to obtain large numbers of differentiated cells from small tissue samples (i.e. biopsies) is by permanently immortalizing the cells directly after isolation followed by their expansion in a dedifferentiated state and their redifferentiation using specific medium formulations. This, however, rarely yields cells in an advanced state of differentiation (i.e. authentic cells) due to the continued presence of proliferation stimuli.

This invention concerns the discovery of a new immortalization technique that overcomes many of the shortcomings of the existing immortalization strategies and allows the reproducible generation of large numbers of differentiated cells with very similar properties as the cells from which they have been derived. These differentiated cells may provide a superior alternative for cell-based systems relying on differentiation of, for instance, pluripotent (human) stem cells and could therefore become the platinum standard for cellular model systems (e.g. for drug testing) & production platforms (e.g. for 3D tissue printing or to produce biopharmaceuticals).

Key benefits

  • Allows generation of large, homogenous, stable and authentic populations of differentiated cells
  • Easy control of cell proliferation and differentiation
  • Applicable to all kinds of avian and mammalian cells
  • Can be used to derive tissue-, patient- and disease-specific cell platforms


See picture

Development stage

Proof-of-concept obtained for atrial cardiomyocytes, cardiac fibroblasts and epicardial mesothelial cells

Luris reference number


Patent status

In preparation

Data available on request

Confidential presentations

Further information

Jofey Chadwick Knowledge Broker (LUMC Div. 1/2) +31-71-527 2689 +31-6-1474 7861