Interactive visualization of cell expansion process performance

Conference Dates

January 15-19, 2017


As cell-based technologies are rapidly evolving beyond the laboratory scale, the demand for mass production of high quality cells is increasing. Unfortunately, only limited amounts of cells can be sourced from (human) donors. Therefore sequences of cell expansion steps are required to multiply the original number of cells taken from the donor biopsy to the amounts required for clinical application. Currently a large variety of expansion processes are used and described in literature. However, it is extremely difficult to compare them as many mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) subtypes are used in different culture vessels, with different medium compositions, etc. Moreover, adding to this variation in expansion strategies, within one process there can be significant fluctuations in outcome due to process variability and inherent donor-to-donor related variability.

The aim of this work was to analyze the performance of a range of expansion processes for large-scale MSC expansion. Therefore a literature-based study was performed, currently resulting in a database of 73 individual cell expansion processes in 5 different types of culture vessels (microcarrier, (layered) flasks, hollow fiber-, multiplate-, and packed bed-bioreactor), 6 different types of MSCs and many different media compositions. The scale of the processes in terms of final cell numbers ranged between 7.5x106 and 1.1x1010 cells. An interactive process map was created where the scale, efficiency, cell type, culture method and load on downstream processing can be explored (see figure below). This interactive visualization tool provides an integrated perspective on the different culture processes and is able to increase the understanding on process comparability, attainable cell yield, scale-up strategies and the effect of certain critical process parameters on the expansion result.

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