Understanding cell culture dynamics: a tool for defining protocol parameters for improved processes and efficient manufacturing using human embryonic stem cells
journal contributionposted on 25.03.2021, 09:29 by James Kusena, Maryam Shariatzadeh, Rob Thomas, Sammy Wilson
Standardization is crucial when culturing cells including human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) which are valuable for therapy development and disease modeling. Inherent issues regarding reproducibility of protocols are problematic as they hinder translation to good manufacturing practice (GMP), thus reducing clinical efficacy and uptake. Pluripotent cultures require standardization to ensure that input material is consistent prior to differentiation, as inconsistency of input cells creates end-product variation. To improve protocols, developers first must understand the cells they are working with and their related culture dynamics. This innovative work highlights key conditions required for optimized and cost-effective bioprocesses compared to generic protocols typically implemented. This entailed investigating conditions affecting growth, metabolism, and phenotype dynamics to ensure cell quality is appropriate for use. Results revealed critical process parameters (CPPs) including feeding regime and seeding density impact critical quality attributes (CQAs) including specific metabolic rate (SMR) and specific growth rate (SGR). This implied that process understanding, and control is essential to maintain key cell characteristics, reduce process variation and retain CQAs. Examination of cell dynamics and CPPs permitted the formation of a defined protocol for culturing H9 hESCs. The authors recommend that H9 seeding densities of 20,000 cells/cm2, four-day cultures or three-day cultures following a recovery passage from cryopreservation and 100% medium exchange after 48 hours are optimal. These parameters gave ~SGR of 0.018 hour−1 ± 1.5x10−3 over three days and cell viabilities ≥95%±0.4, while producing cells which highly expressed pluripotent and proliferation markers, Oct3/4 (>99% positive) and Ki-67 (>99% positive).
EPSRC and MRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Regenerative Medicine
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- Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering