The goal of this Core is to generate cells for DDRC members to study diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal tract. This is a matrix style Core that leverages existing resources on the MUSC campus (cytometry, CyTOF, drug discovery, and cell isolation). The Core provides new services for DDRC investigators who use rodent liver cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These services fall in line with the theme of the DDRC and with the expertise of the Center’s members. The Core provides hepatocytes, sinusoidal endothelial cells, Kupffer cells and hepatic stellate cells to investigators who wish to study either normal cells or cells from injured mouse or rat livers.
The Core also uses genome engineering to introduce specific genetic mutations associated with digestive disease into both established cell lines and pluripotent stem cells. Established cell lines harboring genetic variations can be used to test the investigator’s hypotheses directly. Pluripotent stem cells will be induced to differentiate into liver or gut cells, and tissue biopsies from patients is used for the generation of gut and liver organoids. Differentiated cells are distributed as needed by the core.
The Core also offers a suite of analytical tools to facilitate the members’ study of cell models and to identify novel treatments for digestive disease. These tools include advanced cytometry and drug discovery platforms. To expand the DDRC members’ technology portfolios, we also provide researchers with hands-on training, validated reagents, as well as ongoing access to core expertise, which is consistently updated to incorporate advances in the field.