Reprogramming Skin Cells into Photoreceptor Cells

Developments in the field of skin cells reprogramming offer the opportunity to reverse vision loss. Creative Bioarray is committed to developing efficient and safe strategies to help our customers generate photoreceptor-like cells from skin cells. Our extensive experience and systematic cell characterization services ensure rapid project completion with quality assurance.


The eye is one of the most complex organs in the human body. The retina, a complex mix of cells and layers, is the heart of this visual system. Damage to the retina can eventually lead to photoreceptor cell death and irreversible vision loss. To slow or reverse the progression of the disease, scientists use gene therapies to correct or replace the altered genes that cause different retinal pathologies. With the rapid development of cell reprogramming technology, another treatment strategy called cell therapy has emerged, usually using cells obtained from iPS cells to replace damaged retinal cells. But the process is both tedious and time-consuming, making it necessary to devise better cell replacement methods.

In the latest study, scientists showed that it is possible to reprogram skin cells directly into photoreceptor-like cells for transplantation into the retina without going through the stem-cell intermediary step. The team characterized the reprogrammed rod photoreceptor cells by gene expression analysis, which showed that these reprogrammed cells have similar features to natural rod photoreceptors. This strategy is more efficient and faster than previous iPS cells-based approaches and can be used to design new therapies for retinal diseases.

Fig 1. Differentiation of human USH2A-associated iPSCs into eyecup-like structures.Fig.1 Differentiation of human USH2A-associated iPSCs into eyecup-like structures. (Tucker, 2013)

Our Strategies

Our cell reprogramming team consists of several PhDs specializing in cell biology and we can customize the best reprogramming strategy to meet the specific scientific needs of our clients. We have now successfully developed methods for reprogramming skin cells into photoreceptors.

  • We use a direct reprogramming strategy to immerse skin cells in a mixture of small molecule compounds that together chemically mediate molecular pathways associated with the fate of photoreceptor cells, resulting in photoreceptor-like cells that mimic natural rod photoreceptors in appearance and function.
  • We generated iPSCs from skin cells and induced them to produce photoreceptor precursor cells. These reprogrammed cells can be transplanted into the retinas of immunosuppressed mice and develop into photoreceptor-like cells that express photoreceptor-specific proteins.


  • Investigation of retinitis pigmentosa
  • Generation of immunologically matched photoreceptor cells
  • Development of new therapies for retinal diseases


  • Leading-edge technology and creative R&D team
  • Efficient speed and comprehensive service
  • Detailed after-sales services

As a company specializing in cell reprogramming services, Creative Bioarray has an advanced technology platform and multiple experts in related fields to meet your specific needs. We offer cell reprogramming services to help you successfully generate photoreceptor-like cells from skin cells. If you are interested in our services, please feel free to contact us for more information.


  1. Tucker, B.A.; et al. Patient-specific iPSC-derived photoreceptor precursor cells as a means to investigate retinitis pigmentosa. ELife. 2013, 2: e00824.
For Research Use Only. Not For Clinical Use.