Optimized media and workflow for the expansion of human pluripotent stem cells as aggregates in suspension cultures

Conference Dates

January 27-31, 2019


3D suspension culture enables scale-up of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) manufacturing. However, media and methods optimized for 2D adherent cultures can lead to low volumetric productivity and laborious workflow in suspension cultures. To overcome these limitations we developed fed-batch media based on either mTeSRTM1 (BSA-containing) or TeSRTM-E8TM (animal component-free) for hPSC expansion as aggregates in suspension cultures. Fed-batch feeding protocols are more efficient and cost-effective than batch media changes because only exhausted components are replenished. Optimization studies were performed using human embryonic (H7 and H9), and human induced pluripotent (WLS-1C and STiPS-M001) stem cell lines. Suspension cultures were fed daily using either 50% medium exchanges of standard 2D media, or fed-batch optimized media and protocols. hPSC aggregate diameter must be kept below 350 μm to maintain cell viability and phenotype. With observed growth rates, aggregates required passaging every 3 or 4 days into clumps of 5-10 cells with Gentle Cell Dissociation Reagent. Clumps were re-seeded into fresh test medium plus 10 μM Y-27632. Passaging and feeding cycles were repeated for at least 5 passages. Optimization was performed by iteratively modifying the feed solution to maintain consistent nutrient levels and maximal growth rate while maintaining cell quality. Control and optimized fed-batch formulations demonstrated between 1.4 and 1.8-fold expansion per day, >90% viability, Oct4 and TRA-1-60 expression >90%, in vitro trilineage differentiation, and normal karyotype (n=8 independent cultures). Suspension culture optimized mTeSRTM-3D or TeSRTM-E8TM3D fed-batch media enables the cost-effective production of hPSCs as aggregates with efficient workflow and high cell quality.

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