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March 20, 2019

Launch of a New Web Tool to Search iPS Cell Banks


  1. A new website that integrates iPS cell databases from Europe, Japan and the United States
  2. High-speed search capability
  3. Will expedite access to iPS cells from around the world for research purposes

The tremendous advances in iPS cell research have led to the creation of several iPS cell databases around the world including Europe, Japan and the United States. Researchers are realizing, however, that for these databases to make maximum contribution to science and medicine, they need to be integrated. In response, CiRA Professor Wataru Fujibuchi (Department of Life Science Frontiers) has released Integrated Collection of Stem Cell Bank Data by MIACARM1, a website on which users can rapidly search the nearly 15000 data entries from four major iPS cell databases (eagle-i, Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry (hPSCreg)Riken BioResource Research Center (Riken BRC), Stemcell Knowledge and Information Portal (SKiP))2-5.

The four databases in some cases have data for the same cell, making some of the data redundant. Therefore, the data were reduced to 11,247 data entries and included into SHOGoiN6, a searchable human cell database created by the Fujibuchi group in 2013 with several updated releases since.

One of the major challenges in integrating the four databases is that they sometimes use different search terms for the same information. However, in 2016, representatives from Japan, the EU, the UK and the US came to an agreement on MIACARM (minimum information about a cellular assay for regenerative medicine)7, which has harmonized search terms and made it possible for the Fujibuchi team to integrate data from different databases.

By using the Collection of Stem Cell Bank Data by MIACARM website, users can with a simple keyword search collect essential information about specific iPS cells, such as the gender, race, or condition (healthy or diseased) of the patient, along with the cell grade, reprogramming method, etc. One unique advantage of this feature is the simplicity to find information about cells from donors with rare diseases.

The current version of the website (in English) is for researchers, but Prof. Fujibuchi expects to release a Japanese version for the general public in 2020.

The website was introduced for the first time to scientists at the 18th Congress of the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine in Kobe on March 21-23, 2019.

1) Integarated Collection of Stem Cell Bank data by MIACARM (ICSCB)
2) eagle-i
3) hPSCreg
6) Minimum Information About a Cellular Assay for Regenerative Medicine (MIACARM)
7) see New minimum information standards for regenerative medicine

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