Custom-tailored cardiomyocytes: Directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into defined atrial and ventricular cardiomyocyte subtypes
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  • Head of the Stem Cell Unit, University Medical Center Göttingen
      Lukas Cyganek is head of the Stem Cell Unit at the University Medical Center Göttingen ( The SCU offers support within the scope of generation, cultivation and characterization of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), its genome editing as well as its in vitro differentiation into patient-specific cardiomyocytes. The SCU further offers their expertise in the analysis of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and engineered heart muscles on molecular and functional level for detailed phenotyping. Apart from the laboratory services, the SCU acts as biobank for patient-specific iPSCs and iPSC derivatives (

      During his PhD at the European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen, Lukas Cyganek focused on the neurogenesis of the somatosensory system. In 2013, he joined the stem cell lab of Prof. Kaomei Guan in the cardiology at the University Medical Center Göttingen as a postdoctoral researcher, before he became head of the SCU in 2015. His recent research focusses on the generation of patient-specific as well as engineered iPSCs of and their applications in disease modelling of cardiovascular diseases, drug screening and tissue engineering.


    The availability of well-characterised monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) detecting cell-surface epitopes on human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) provides useful research tools to investigate the cellular mechanisms underlying human pluripotency and states of cellular reprogramming. We recently described generation of seven new mAbs that detect cell surface proteins present on primed and naive human ES cells (hESCs) and human iPS cells (hiPSCs), confirming our previous prediction that these proteins were present on the cell surface of hPSCs. The mAbs all show a high correlation with POU5F1 (OCT4) expression and other hPSC surface markers (TRA-160 and SSEA-4) in hPSC cultures and detect rare OCT4 positive cells in differentiated cell cultures. In addition, we report that subsets of the seven new mAbs are also immunoreactive to specific human somatic cell populations. The mAbs reported here should accelerate the investigation of the nature of pluripotency, and enable development of robust cell separation and tracing technologies to enrich or deplete for hPSCs and other human stem and somatic cell types.

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