Human
embryonic stem cells (hESCs) had widely been used for its characteristics of
pluripotency and self-renewal property in studies of human developmental
process, disease modeling and regenerative medicine. However, the ethical
issues concerned with destruction of human embryo, and the need for life-long
immunosuppressive drugs in case of transplantation of hESCs greatly hampered hESCs
transitioning into future clinical applications. Yet, in 2007, the discovery of
induced pluripotency by Yamanaka have completely transformed the scientific
approach and research into another platform where stem cell research have become
free of ethical concerns, thus far expanding its boundaries in developmental
study and regenerative medicine (1). The adult
somatic cells are introduced with a set of four transcriptional factors, called
Yamanaka factors, which are OCT4, SOX2, KLF2, and c-MYC, and are reprogrammed
into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that demonstrate pluripotency, self
renewal and differentiation potential as do hESCs (1).

This
breakthrough of generating iPSCs has resolved the problem of isolating primary
patient-derived cells such as neurons or cardiomyocytes which are hard to
access, thus has brought about a wide array of technological and medical development
in drug screening and disease modeling. The iPSCs that are generated in vitro
are stimulated to be differentiated into certain types of cells, which are hard
to access and store for long-term, by fostering appropriate environment with
chemical agents. These differentiated cells can be replaced infinitely from the
iPSC stocks, allowing much more efficient research in disease modeling, drug
screening and cell therapy. Moreover, patient-specific iPSC clinical trial is
ongoing on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) which is otherwise incurable (2).

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iPSCs
have been derived from a wide varieties of somatic cell types, such as
keratinocytes, blood cells or stomach cells, with several different
reprogramming techniques to introduce a cocktail of reprogramming plasmids to
somatic cells (3). The delivery
of reprogramming transcriptional factors is an essential step that greatly affects
the efficiency and viability of iPSCs. A number of different approaches have
been developed to maximize the efficiency of plasmid delivery and its
elimination after reprogramming, and quality and viability of resultant iPSCs (3).

In
this paper, human dermal fibroblast, isolated from cesarean scars, are used to
generate iPSCs in feeder-free condition using Sendai viral transduction system,
and the resultant iPSC lines are further characterized to examine its
pluripotency.