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Our mission is to provide high quality neurons from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for CNS research and drug discovery. We feel strongly that using human iPSC-derived neurons increases the clinical relevance of neuroscience research programs. With iPSC-derived neurons scientists can study and model CNS diseases of clinical importance in the relevant genetic and cellular context. Our approach of directed differentiation yields high quality neurons in batch sizes of more than a billion neurons; enough to supply even the largest project demands. For example, we have used SMA patient-derived motor neurons in high-throughput phenotypic screens of more than 100,000 compounds, which is a scale beyond the scope of primary neurons.

Solid Foundation of our Technology

We direct human stem cells, including iPSCs, to subtype-specific neurons using proven technology developed by Prof. Su-Chun Zhang at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. [1-4]

Our directed differentiation protocols drive stem cells through cell fate determination stages observed during embryonic development. [4] This means our iPSC-derived neurons are more similar to primary neurons than others’ rapidly differentiated cells.

BrainXell’s Expertise

Our company focuses only on producing neurons and glia, which allows us to dedicate all of our energy manufacturing the purest cultures of physiologically-relevant mature neurons. With less than a dozen products, we can provide the best quality and support for each cell type. Our job is not done when a product is developed; we continue to meticulously optimize each differentiation step to yield a culture that performs reliably and expectedly.

Our production technology allows for massive expansion of cells during directed differentiation. Each batch of neurons yields at least a billion neurons–enough for a thousand 96-well plates! With large batch sizes, customers can expect reproducible results across multiple experiments or an entire high-throughput screening campaign.


Disease Modeling with iPSC-derived Neurons

Traditionally, biomedical research depended on the use of model systems to explore basic biology, probe disease mechanisms, and conduct drug discovery and development. However, results from such systems have low translatability, which limits the number of questions that can be addressed with such systems. [5] Therefore, a scientist should select a model system with the greatest physiological relevance that is technically and economically feasible for a given project. As technologies improve, more options become available to scientists to improve study design and increase the translatability of each experiment.

For early stage neuroscience and CNS drug discovery efforts, human neurons derived from iPSCs can add value to research programs. Human iPSC-derived neurons can replace non-human primary cells and immortalized human cell lines, which have limited predictive power to drive research in the right direction. In fact, scientists in our group have used patient iPSC-derived neurons to study spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) [6] as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). [7] From these investigations, disease phenotypes were identified that helped inform ongoing drug discovery campaigns.


Contact Us or visit our Applications page to learn more; if your ready, buy iPSC-derived neurons today!


Brief introduction to BrainXell’s technology

Webinar introducing iPSC-Derived Human Neurons and their applications


  1. Li, X.J., et al., Directed differentiation of ventral spinal progenitors and motor neurons from human embryonic stem cells by small molecules. Stem Cells, 2008. 26(4): p. 886-93. PMID: 18238853

  2. Hu, B.Y., Z.W. Du, and S.C. Zhang, Differentiation of human oligodendrocytes from pluripotent stem cells. Nat Protoc, 2009. 4(11): p. 1614-22. PMID: 19834476

  3. Du, Z.W., et al., Generation and expansion of highly pure motor neuron progenitors from human pluripotent stem cells. Nat Commun, 2015. 6: p. 6626. PMID: 25806427

  4. Liu, H. and S.C. Zhang, Specification of neuronal and glial subtypes from human pluripotent stem cells. Cell Mol Life Sci, 2011. 68(24): p. 3995-4008. PMID: 21786144

  5. Scannell, J.W. and J. Bosley, When Quality Beats Quantity: Decision Theory, Drug Discovery, and the Reproducibility Crisis. PLoS One, 2016. 11(2): p. e0147215. PMID: 26863229

  6. Liu, H., et al., Spinal muscular atrophy patient-derived motor neurons exhibit hyperexcitability. Sci Rep, 2015. 5: p. 12189. PMID: 26190808

  7. Chen, H., et al., Modeling ALS with iPSCs reveals that mutant SOD1 misregulates neurofilament balance in motor neurons. Cell Stem Cell, 2014. 14(6): p. 796-809. PMID: 24704493