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Inflammation Macrophages

Macrophages play an essential role in regulating tissue homeostasis, tissue repair and immune response. They play a key role in several major diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, COPD, cancer and asthma, making them an important therapeutic target. Using innovative human iPSC technologies, we can provide a cost-effective, reproducible and pathologically relevant platform to study disease mechanisms and relevant functions of macrophages. The cells can be polarized into functionally distinct phenotypes to investigate, among other things, cytokine release and phagocytosis.

Censo has extensive experience in generating these cells and configuring assays.

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Immunocytochemistry of iPSCs-derived macrophages.

Blue: DAPI, Red: Cell Tracker


Following activation, macrophages secrete a wide range of cytokines that influence the development and length of an inflammatory response. Assays which model cytokine release are an essential tool in the development of drugs.

In this experiment iPSC-derived macrophage-like cells were stimulated with a panel of activators to measure cytokine release. The differential response to the activators by these cells is clearly seen.

This data was generated as part of collaboration with LifeArc.


As effector cells of the innate immune system, macrophages are responsible for the defence against pathogens and play an important role in homeostasis through the clearance of cellular debris and tissue repair. This function can be modelled to provide an assay for compounds designed to modulate phagocytosis. In this example, phagocytosis of pHrodo labelled S. aureus is examined over time. The cells were incubated with S. aureus and fluorescence was measured for up to 30 hours on an IncuCyte S3.
If your therapeutic goal is the modulation of phagocytosis of this critical cell in the inflammatory cascade, then Censo can help. Please contact us to discuss in more detail.

Cell surface receptor expression:

Thorough characterization of the cells generated from human iPSC is critical for establishing confidence in a given assay. In this representative graph, the cell surface expression of markers normally associated with macrophage phenotypes was examined. This is only a small representative sample of the kind of analysis Censo uses to define cellular phenotypes. In this case, the expression of cell surface markers was measured by flow cytometry, but Censo also employs cytological and genetic assays to confirm phenotypes.