ACT’s proprietary, patented single-blastomere technology enables the derivation of hESCs from human blastomeres using a single-cell biopsy technique similar to Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). The biopsy procedure does not destroy or harm the embryo, nor does it interfere with the embryo’s developmental potential. PGD is often used in in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics to assess the genetic health of pre-implantation embryos. The cell lines produced using this technique appear to be identical to the hESC lines derived from later-stage embryos, derived using techniques that destroy the embryo’s developmental potential.
Embryonic stem cells can differentiate into any cell type and due to their unlimited self-renewal capabilities they also provide an unlimited source of cells. For example, retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from hESCs are terminally differentiated and express all molecular markers found in vivo in RPE cells.