Andreas Leha, Nathalie Moens, Ruta Meleckyte, Oliver J. Culley, Mia K. Gervasio, Maximilian Kerz, Andreas Reimer, Stuart A. Cain, Ian Streeter, Amos Folarin, Oliver Stegle, Cay M. Kielty, HipSci Consortium, Richard Durbin, Fiona M. Watt, Davide Danovi
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide invaluable opportunities for future cell therapies as well as for studying human development, modelling diseases and discovering therapeutics. In order to realise the potential of iPSCs, it is crucial to comprehensively characterise cells generated from large cohorts of healthy and diseased individuals. The human iPSC initiative (HipSci) is assessing a large panel of cell lines to define cell phenotypes, dissect inter- and intra-line and donor variability and identify its key determinant components. Here we report the establishment of a high-content platform for phenotypic analysis of human iPSC lines. In the described assay, cells are dissociated and seeded as single cells onto 96-well plates coated with fibronectin at three different concentrations. This method allows assessment of cell number, proliferation, morphology and intercellular adhesion. Altogether, our strategy delivers robust quantification of phenotypic diversity within complex cell populations facilitating future identification of the genetic, biological and technical determinants of variance. Approaches such as the one described can be used to benchmark iPSCs from multiple donors and create novel platforms that can readily be tailored for disease modelling and drug discovery.