Astrocytes are the most abundant glial cells found in the central nervous system and spinal cord, and are involved in neuronal development, neuronal metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, and synaptic function. They play a critical role in repair and neurogenesis during CNS and spinal cord injury, and astrocyte dysfunction has also been implicated in many debilitating CNS disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington’s disease. 

Applied StemCell provides fully customized service to differentiate your iPSCs into neural stem cells (NSCs) and further into astrocytes and other neuronal lineage cells. We will provide you with high purity (>95%), iPSC-derived astrocyte precursor and/or mature cells, including detailed maturation and maintenance protocols, as well as, our well optimized astrocyte maturation media and supplements.


Figure 1. Immunocytochemical characterization of astrocytes derived from NSCs using proprietary protocols and optimized media yield >90% GFAP+ cells (astrocyte marker) and <1% Tuj1+ cells (neuronal marker).

TECHNICAL-astrocyte-GFAPand S100beta

Figure 2. Cytoplasmic co-localization of astrocyte markers, GFAP (green) and S100b (red), and nucleus-staining marker, Hoechst (blue).

Astrocyte Differentiation Service

Service Time Deliverables
1. Recovery, Expansion and Validation of iPSCs/ESCs (If providing iPSCs as source)  2-3 weeks Biweekly updates throughout service
2. Neural Stem Cells Differentiation & characterization (if providing iPSCs as source)  2-5 weeks  
3. Astrocyte precursor differentiation  2-3 weeks  2-6 x 10^6 cells/line; cryopreserved
4. Astrocyte maturation (optional) 2-3 weeks 2-6 x 10^6 cells/ line; cryopreserved
5. Astrocyte characterization 1 week Final report; High resolution images

Standard Deliverables:

  • Astrocyte precursor cells and/or astrocyte mature cells: 2-6 X10^6 cells /line, cryopreserved.
  • Astrocyte maturation medium with supplements: 100 mL
  • Reports: astrocyte marker staining (ie. GFAP, S100b) and mycoplasma testing

Other related services:

We also have off-shelf products of differentiated cell lines, including isogenic panels of iPSC-derived NSCs, astrocyte, dopamine neurons and mixed neurons from two control iPSC lines (one male and one female) and cardiomyocytes.


Shaltouki, A., Sivapatham, R., Pei, Y., Gerencser, A. A., Momčilović, O., Rao, M. S., & Zeng, X. (2015). Mitochondrial alterations by PARKIN in dopaminergic neurons using PARK2 patient-specific and PARK2 knockout isogenic iPSC lines. Stem cell reports4(5), 847-859.

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