Experimental approaches for the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells
Derivation of autologous induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) through direct reprogramming of easily accessible somatic cells holds the potential to transform the field of regenerative medicine. Since Takahashi and Yamanaka's groundbreaking study describing the generation of iPSCs by retroviral-mediated delivery of defined transcription factors, substantial progress has been made to improve both the efficiency and safety of the method. These advances have provided new insights into the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming and promise to accelerate the clinical translation of iPSC technology. Here, we summarize current reprogramming methodologies with a focus on the production of transgene-free or genetically unmanipulated iPSCs and highlight important technical details that ultimately may influence the biological properties of pluripotent stem cells.