The Regenerative Medicine Biotrust for Storing Cells — Mayo Clinic

The Regenerative Medicine Biotrust enables the Center for Regenerative Medicine to collect, process and store cells and other biospecimens from individual patients to use as a starting point for regenerative therapies.

Regenerative Medicine Biotrust

The Regenerative Medicine Biotrust in the Center for Regenerative Medicine facilitates the ability of Mayo Clinic's clinical investigators to collect, process and bank cells and other biospecimens from individual patients.

As a patient's own cells are often used as a starting point for regenerative therapies and diagnostics, having key specimens — such as stem cells — readily available within the biotrust could prove critical in correlating clinical and scientific information pertaining to the patient or disease group.

By advancing capabilities across the discovery-translation-application paradigm, the Regenerative Medicine Biotrust supports Mayo Clinic as a center of excellence for regenerative medicine therapies and surgical capabilities. As an enterprise-wide, multidisciplinary platform, the biotrust enables continuous innovation in regenerative medicine at Mayo Clinic by applying best practices for:

  • Ensuring that patients participating in regenerative medicine research give informed consent
  • Educating patients about regenerative medicine
  • Collecting, processing and banking patient samples
  • Conducting rigorous quality control to ensure that samples are qualified for translational and clinical research
  • Distributing cell-based materials across the enterprise and to Mayo Clinic's academic collaborators

Regenerative medicine services and applications

The Regenerative Medicine Biotrust is uniquely positioned to collect, validate and distribute research-grade, cell-based materials at an institutional and national level. The biobank contains one of the largest induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) collections — from more than 400 unique patients, including samples from a variety of disease groups and healthy controls.

The banked biomaterials contained within the Regenerative Medicine Biotrust — stem cells and somatic cells — form the critical cellular products required for dish modeling, drug screening and gene correction functions conducted in the Regenerative Medicine Biotrust laboratory.

Adult stem cells are isolated from patients directly in the form of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) or derived from patients' somatic cells by reprogramming, which uses specific genes known as Yamanaka factors.

Diagnostic and investigative therapeutic projects in collaboration with Mayo Clinic clinicians underway at the Regenerative Medicine Biotrust include research on:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease)
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Cardiac channelopathies
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Cancer
  • Eye disease
  • Liver failure

Services from the Regenerative Medicine Biotrust include:

  • Biomaterial validation
  • Specimen collection
  • Cell processing
  • Project design
  • Distribution
  • Training
  • Somatic and stem cell banking
  • Patient education

Read questions and answers (PDF) about the Regenerative Medicine Biotrust in the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic.

Platform leaders

The Regenerative Medicine Biotrust is led by experts in pharmacology and surgery:

  • Atta Behfar, M.D., Ph.D.
    • Deputy Director of Translation, Center for Regenerative Medicine
  • Dennis Wigle, M.D., Ph.D.
    • Director, Regenerative Medicine Biotrust
  • Zachary T. Resch, Ph.D.
    • Program Manager
  • Melinda (Mindy) P. Rice, M.B.A.
    • Operations Manager

Tour the Regenerative Medicine Biotrust in the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota

Accelerating product delivery

The Regenerative Medicine Biotrust is accelerating the delivery of new regenerative products and services to patients worldwide.

The Regenerative Medicine Biotrust employs a multistep process to quickly and efficiently provide new regenerative productions and services to the people who need them most. This process includes:

  • Project design. The biotrust provides consultation services, evaluates current projects and develops new projects.
  • Patient interaction. Faculty and staff educate the biotrust's more than 1,250 continuously enrolled patients. The biotrust ensures that participants give informed consent, that participant identification systems are in place, and that patient privacy and confidentiality is always protected.
  • Specimen collection. Samples are taken from skin-punch biopsies and discarded tissue from the operating room.
  • Cell processing. The Regenerative Medicine Biotrust employs somatic cell isolation and expansion and engineered cell production, including induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
  • Quality control. Quality is measured and ensured through karyotypic analysis, germ layer differentiation and directed differentiation of various cell types.
  • Stem cell banking. As of 2017, the Regenerative Medicine Biotrust includes quality-assured mesenchymal stem cells or iPS cells from more than 400 patients. The Biotrust tracks samples to ensure patient privacy. Samples are kept in redundant and secured liquid nitrogen storage.
  • Distribution and training. Under monitoring and regulation by the Center for Regenerative Medicine Biotrust Oversight Committee, the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Biospecimens Subcommittee, the Regenerative Medicine Biotrust maintains an enterprise-wide cell listing to facilitate collaboration. Faculty and staff provide training in iPS cell laboratory practices and differentiation protocols.