hPSC-Derived Neural Cell Research

After neural induction, human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs) can be further differentiated into the major neural cell types of the central nervous system: neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. See MoreThese specialized neural cell types hold great promise for studying human neurological development and disease. After using STEMdiff™ neural induction protocols to generate NPCs, you can use cell type-specific STEMdiff™ differentiation and maturation kits to differentiate forebrain-type neurons, midbrain neurons, or astrocytes.

A two-step differentiation and maturation approach allows for increased overall efficiency and experimental flexibility. First, STEMdiff™ differentiation kits for forebrain-type neurons, midbrain-type neurons or astrocytes generate lineage-restricted precursors from NPCs. Researchers can then mature these precursors to functional forebrain-type neurons, midbrain- neurons or astrocytes, using the corresponding STEMdiff™ maturation kits. Many of our maturation kits have a basal medium based on BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium, a serum-free physiological medium that is based on the formulation from the laboratory of Fred H. Gage (C Bardy et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2015) and supports neuronal activity. hPSC-derived neuronal cultures show activity-dependent maturation, expressing more synaptically-associated proteins (e.g. J Ruden et al. Front Mol Neurosci, 2021) and a wider range of adult protein isoforms (e.g. L Miguel et al. Stem Cell Res, 2019) when cultured in BrainPhys™-based media—potentially uncovering crucial information about their complex phenotypes.

Downstream of neural crest induction, researchers can further differentiate hPSC-derived neural crest cells (NCCs) to cell types of the peripheral nervous system. NCCs generated using the STEMdiff™ Neural Crest Differentiation Kit differentiate to sensory neurons using a two-step approach with STEMdiff™ Sensory Neuron Differentiation and Maturation Kits.

For a flexible approach to generating many different neural cell subtypes according to published protocols, you may combine neural supplements, such as NeuroCult™ SM1 Neuronal Supplement (based on the published B-27 formulation) and N2 Supplement A or B , with small molecules or cytokines and a suitable basal medium, such as BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium . Compared to traditional medium formulations, BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium is more representative of the CNS extracellular environment, which results in hPSC-derived neuronal cultures with increased proportions of synaptically active neurons.

If 3D models are more appropriate for your experiments, you can differentiate organoids containing various neural cell types arranged in a 3D tissue structure directly from hPSCs with STEMdiff™ neural organoid kits. With options that enable developmental self-organization or patterning to particular nervous system subregions, neural organoids are powerful tools to study human developmental processes and complex cell interactions.

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Whether you’re starting from primary cells, tissue samples, or pluripotent stem cells, explore our complete portfolio of products to support your neural culture workflow.


Cell Culture Media and Supplements 4 (1)

Cell Dyes and Detection Assay Kits 4 (1)

Tissue and Cell Culture Dissociation Reagents 4 (1)

Antibodies 4 (1)

Small Molecules 4 (6)

  • SIS3


    Activin/NODAL/TGF-β pathway inhibitor; Inhibits SMAD3
  • Compound E

    Compound E

    Notch pathway inhibitor; Inhibits Notch receptor and amyloid precursor protein
  • Dibutyryl-cAMP


    cAMP pathway activator; Activates cAMP-dependent protein kinases
  • XAV939


    WNT pathway inhibitor; Inhibits TNKS1 and TNKS2

Buffers and Solutions 4 (1)

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