• Drug Discovery
    • CNS disease modeling
    iPSC NSC

Microglia Differentiation

Differentiate your iPSCs into microglia, the resident immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS) for an efficient way to generate in vitro models of neurodevelopment, neuroinflammation, and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. iPSC-derived microglial cells recapitulate the phenotypes and functional properties of primary microglial cells without the sourcing problems associated with them.

  • Robust, mature microglia with morphology of primary microglia
  • Cells express key microglial specific markers: TMEM119 and P2RY12+; other markers available upon request
  • Differentiate from your healthy, disease or engineered iPSCs
  • “Master” iPSCs available for deriving control microglial lines
  • Optional! Cell Line validation and drug screening services available
Will the iPSC-derived microglia provided be precursors or mature cells?
What is the purity of the microglia?
What are the quality control criteria you would provide?
What is your differentiation protocol based upon?
Do you provide media and protocols along with the microglia?
Can the differentiated microglia be passaged?
How long can your differentiated microglia be maintained in culture?
Products and Services
Application Notes

iPSC-derived Microglia from Control iPSC Line ASE-9211


Figure 1. Recovery of cryopreserved iPSC-derived microglia (iMGLs). Cryopreserved iMGLs differentiated from Applied StemCell’s control iPSC line, ASE-9211 were recovered in microglia culture media on plates pre-coated with a proprietary microglia-specific coating matrix. The cells were fixed the next day and stained with microglial-specific markers, P2RY12+, TMEM119, IBA1, CX3CR1, TREM2 (top row). Bottom row shows the co-localization of the biomarkers with the nuclear counterstain, DAPI.

Technical Details

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) are exceedingly popular, like embryonic stem cells (ESCs), because their pluripotency allows them to differentiate into all three germ layers with the potential to differentiate into all cell types within the body, but unlike ESCs, they are not encumbered with the ethical dispute associated with the sourcing of ESCs. The true potential of stem cell technology lies in the directed terminal differentiation of iPSCs into specific somatic cells which function like primary cells but without the sourcing issue and passaging limitations associated with them.

The directed differentiation of iPSCs to glial cells (microglia, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes) and neuronal lineage cells (neural stem cells and neurons) is of special importance for neurobiology and related disorders, considering the dearth of clinically relevant in vitro models available for research, drug screening and development, as well as the lack of effective therapy to reverse neuronal damage.

Get your own iPSC-derived CNS cell line models with Applied StemCell’s comprehensive iPSC-differentiation service:

  • iPSCs reprogrammed from fibroblasts, PBMCs, cord blood cells and more
  • Differentiation from your healthy/ patient/ genome engineered iPSC lines
  • Also available, fully characterized “Master” control iPSC lines for generating control lines
  • You can also generate physiologically relevant, co-culture models with isogenic neurons and astrocytes generated from the same parental iPSCs.
  • High quality and high purity cell lines expressing key lineage markers
  • Add-on our downstream, cell line validation and phenotype assessment assays for a complete and comprehensive cell line package.

Benefits and advantages of iPSC differentiation to neurons and glial cells:

  • Provides genetic and physiologically relevant in vitro models to study neural development and associated disorders: congenital disorders, neurodegenerative disorders and brain tumors.
  • Generates a valuable model for identifying new targets for neuro-regeneration as opposed to treatments limiting to symptomatic relief or delaying disease progression.
  • Allows for future adaptation of technology for regenerative medicine and cell therapy in humans for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Lou-Gehrig disease (ALS), Huntington’s disease, and spinal cord injury among other diseases.
  • Differentiation of genome engineered in iPSCs (mutation introduction or correction) to neurons, offers an isogenic source of control-disease cell lines for basic research, drug development, hard-to-model neurological disorders, and potentially for gene therapy.  


Figure. Schematic representation of microglia and neuronal lineage cell differentiation from iPSCs.

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