Core Facilities

The complexities and interdisciplinary nature of stem cell and regenerative medicine research necessitate collaboration and access to facilities outside the scope of any one investigator’s laboratory. Thus, to facilitate stem cell and regenerative medicine research on campus, shared resources are an essential aspect of the SCRMC. These resources give individual investigators access to state-of-the-art technologies, with appropriate expertise to assist in training, experimental planning and data analysis.

A list of SCRMC services follows. Members can apply for access to these services via the applications form. Once accepted, users should e-mail service directors to arrange further details. We hope to significantly subsidize costs associated with these services, but this will depend on use over time and is subject to change.

Cardiophysiology Services

Timothy Hacker, Director

The Cardiovascular Physiology Core Facility provides University of Wisconsin-Madison and external researchers, including industry scientists, with a central resource for creating and studying cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology in animal models on a fee-for-service basis. While the central focus of the facility is cardiovascular research, the techniques employed are useful to a number of investigators in other fields. Currently, the facility is conducting studies focusing on diabetes, drug toxicology, heart failure, arrhythmias, gene, drug and cell therapy and other cardiovascular diseases. In addition to studying disease, the core conducts laboratory teaching exercises for undergraduate and School of Medicine and Public Health courses.

Humanized Mouse Core

William Burlingham, Director

Immune rejection of transplanted allogeneic stem cells or derivatives is a major barrier to bringing such cell-based transplantation to clinics. The Immunology and Pathology Core will provide detailed immunologic testing and immunopathologic evaluation. These steps are essential for developing strategies to facilitate allogeneic transplants. The resources and services will provide a broad assessment of the humoral and cellular immune responses to transplantation of hES cells or their derivatives in a variety of contexts, e.g., across MHC barriers and using varying degrees of immunosuppression.Find out more at the Humanized Mouse Core Service website.

Nonhuman Primate Services

Thaddeus G. Golos, Director

Projects to develop cell replacement therapies may require that researchers implant stem cells into nonhuman primates to test efficacy and assess possible side effects before proceeding to human trials. In this context, nonhuman primates will be made available through the Nonhuman Primate Services core at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. Specific services include the provision of appropriate monkeys and primate tissue for projects, specialized animal husbandry, assistance with procedures such as surgeries and clinical assessments of monkeys, and appropriate terminal procedures and preparation of tissues for analysis.

As a part of nonhuman primate services, bone marrow transplantation core at WNPRC directed by Igor Slukvin provides the MHC-defined preclinical model for novel hematopoietic stem cell therapies. Bone marrow transplantation core assists researchers in isolation and genetic modification/editing of hematopoietic stem cells, animal conditioning, bone marrow transplantation, and assessment of bone marrow engraftment.

Small Animal Imaging Services

Jamey Weichert, Director

Serial tracking of transplanted stem cells in living animals will provide essential information regarding the fate and localization of the cells and their ability to repair damaged tissue. Service technicians will perform whole animal imaging that will enable tracking of cells with micro CT, PET, MRI and 3D fluorescent and bioluminescent optical imaging. They will use state-of-the-art equipment following transplantation in collaboration with the Department of Radiology and Medical Physics and will assess in vivo physiological effects of transplantation. Moreover advanced image reconstruction capability allowe 3-dimensional mapping of functional optical signals into anotomic frameworks provided my CT or MRI scanning. In addition, the core will provide imaging using one of the world’s only small animal combined PET/CT scanner, which can provide functional information for precise anatomical localization studies.

Small Molecule Screening & Synthesis Services

Michael Hoffmann, Director

Stem cells provide an excellent system for drug discovery on human cells and on cells with specific disease phenotypes. Experienced staff scientists assist in assay development, validation and implementation for high throughput screening of chemical or human RNAi libraries using liquid handling robotics. Scientists from each lab are encouraged to work closely with the staff scientists on all aspects of the high throughput screens. In addition, staff scientists can provide biological profiling assays on small in-house libraries of known drugs such as the NIH Clinical Collection and the Prestwick Library. Synthetic medicinal chemistry, lead optimization, and molecular modeling are also available.  SMSSF services are available for drug discovery in all therapeutic areas.

SMSSF also provides access to instrumentation and data analysis for image-based cellular assays in 96-well or 384-well plates. The EVOS® FL Auto Cell Imaging System has automated stage movement, focus, and exposure. Use it for cell based assays involving fluorescence, bright field, automated cell imaging, image stitching, and time-lapse imaging. Fee-for-service image analysis using ImageJ is also available at SMSSF.

SMSSF also provides access to instrumentation and data analysis for image-based cellular assays in 96-well or 384-well plates. The EVOS® FL Auto Cell Imaging System has automated stage movement, focus, and exposure. Use it for cell based assays involving fluorescence, bright field, automated cell imaging, image stitching, and time-lapse imaging. Fee-for-service image analysis using ImageJ is also available at SMSSF.

Web site http://uwhealth.org/hts

Waisman Biomanufacturing

Carl Ross, Interim Director and Manager of Process Development

Waisman Biomanufacturing has in-depth experience in manufacturing a wide range of biotherapeutics for human clinical trials including gene therapeutics, cell therapeutics, vaccines, and recombinant proteins. Waisman has developed platform manufacturing processes and analytical methods to support clinical production of several classes of biotherapeutics including plasmid DNA, Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSCs), human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs), adenoviral vectors, and lentiviral vectors. In addition, Waisman has supported the development and clinical production of a number of novel types of biotherapeutics from process development through to aseptic fill and finish. For more information, see the Waisman Biomanufacturing facility’s website at http://gmpbio.org/.

Waisman induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Service

Su-Chun Zhang, Director

Anita Bhattacharyya, Co-director

Cell reprogramming from biopsy tissue, fibroblasts or blood samples will be carried out by the induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) service of the Waisman Center Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (WC CMN) Core under the direction of Dr. Su-Chun Zhang. Since 2009 the iPSC (induced Pluripotent Stem Cell) service has generated over 30 iPS cell lines from diseased and control individuals. The Waisman Center and WiCell Research Institute, Inc. offer a collaborative service to derive and characterize induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines solely for the benefit of researchers engaged in stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. WiCell will expand and characterize iPSC generated by Waisman iPSC service. The added value for UW researchers using this collaborative iPSC service include 1) better, more rigorous characterization of iPSCs, 2) expansion of cells for distribution, and 3) distribution of iPSCs at no additional cost.

For more information:;http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/cmn-ipsc.htm. Contact: ipsc@waisman.wisc.edu

Pluripotent stem cell gene editing service

Su-Chun Zhang & Anita Bhattacharyya, Co-directors

Andy Petersen, Gene Editing Service Scientist

The "UW Human Stem Cell Editing Service", located in the Waisman Center provides CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing of human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) to campus researchers. Gene editing enables the creation of isogenic human PSC lines by correcting the gene mutation in the patient iPSCs or by knocking a mutation into otherwise normal human PSCs. The isogenic cells have the identical genetic background except for the mutation, thus providing stringent controls and avoiding much of the variability inherent in iPSCs, which will greatly enhance our ability to understand how those mutations cause particular diseases. In addition to using gene editing to correct or establish mutations in hPSCs, the service will use new technologies to enable strategies to regulate gene expression, delete genes and insert tags that allow rapid cell sorting.

For more information: http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/cmn-gene-editing.htm. Contact: geneediting@waisman.wisc.edu

WiCell

Robert Drape, Executive Director

WiCell is a supporting organization of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, a world leader in the area of human pluripotent stem cell research. WiCell is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to advance the science of stem cells. The global leader in cell banking, cytogenetic testing and distribution of pluripotent stem cell lines, WiCell builds on these core strengths by also providing clinical grade cell lines, quality control testing and cell banking services. To support the UW-Madison, WiCell offers a wide array of services and support designed to keep UW at the forefront of advances in stem cell technology. Current offerings are described below.

WiCell Core Services

Request a Core Services UW Order Form

Cell Culture Reagents: WiCell has used its buying power to secure large lots of critical cell culture reagents at reduced prices. Each reagent is qualified to ensure that it supports human pluripotent stem cell culture and is of the highest quality. This allows your lab to achieve significant savings of both time and money. No longer are you required to carry a large amount of inventory, or waste valuable technician time qualifying each reagent in your lab – or worse, lose experiments due to unqualified reagents.

WISC Bank Materials: UW Researchers can obtain frozen vials of Wisconsin ES, modified ES and iPS cells from the Stem Cell Bank at WiCell at a significant discount.

MEFs: Qualified mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) are also available from WiCell. Please e-mail mef@wicell.org to place orders.

Technical Testing Services: WiCell also offers technical services to aid you in your research, including routine mycoplasma testing and teratoma formation.

Order and Delivery: An order sheet, including a reagent list and associated costs, can be requested by emailing CoreServices@Wicell.org. Material can be ordered weekly, and is delivered to three locations on campus along with MEFs (Biotechnology Center, Waisman Center, WiCell’s MRP facility). Cost recovery rates apply, and laboratories will be invoiced monthly. If you have any questions about this service, please feel free to contact WiCell Core Services at CoreServices@WiCell.org.

Cytogenetic Services -- Provides prompt turnaround

Request a Cytogenetics Testing Request Form

Our experienced, clinically certified staff provides customized service at low cost with a turn-around time for karyotyping of approximately seven days. WiCell’s suite of cytogenetic services include:

  • Chromosome analysis (karyotyping)
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH or FastFISH)
  • Spectral karyotyping of human and mouse ES cells, iPS cells, and differentiated cell types  
  • Copy number analysis via Agilent’s comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) platform or Illumina’s single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) platform also available by agreement
  • Identity testing by short Tandem Repeat (STR)

Sample Submission and Ordering: Submit your order via the Cytogenetics Testing Request form, which is available by emailing cytogenetics@wicell.orgPlease see the Courier Instructions for information on submitting your samples to WiCell.

Cell Line Distribution Services

WiCell can distribute cell lines derived by UW investigators to the global stem cell community. Investigators wishing to deposit human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with WiCell for distribution should refer to the “Depositing Stem Cell Lines with WiCell for Distribution” web page on the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education’s website for more information.

Research Support / Facility Use

WiCell is dedicated to supporting stem cell science at the UW-Madison and assisting SCRMC researchers. Laboratory facilities are available for SCRMC members at WiCell’s MRP facility at University Research Park. This facility is furnished with cell culture and wet lab space as well as all basic lab equipment. If you wish to inquire about use of WiCell’s MRP facility or have other general questions, please e-mail scrmcsupport@wicell.org.