Tan KY, Teo KL, Lim JF, et al. Serum-free media formulations are cell line-specific and require optimization for microcarrier culture [published correction appears in Cytotherapy. 2015 Dec;17(12):1845. Choolani, Mahesh [added]; Chan, Jerry [added]]. Cytotherapy. 2015;17(8):1152‐1165. doi:10.1016/j.jcyt.2015.05.001
Background aims: Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are being investigated as potential cell therapies for many different indications. Current methods of production rely on traditional monolayer culture on tissue-culture plastic, usually with the use of serum-supplemented growth media. However, the monolayer culturing system has scale-up limitations and may not meet the projected hundreds of billions to trillions batches of cells needed for therapy. Furthermore, serum-free medium offers several advantages over serum-supplemented medium, which may have supply and contaminant issues, leading to many serum-free medium formulations being developed.
Methods: We cultured seven MSC lines in six different serum-free media and compared their growth between monolayer and microcarrier culture.
Results: We show that (i) expansion levels of MSCs in serum-free monolayer cultures may not correlate with expansion in serum-containing media; (ii) optimal culture conditions (serum-free media for monolayer or microcarrier culture) differ for each cell line; (iii) growth in static microcarrier culture does not correlate with growth in stirred spinner culture; (iv) and that early cell attachment and spreading onto microcarriers does not necessarily predict efficiency of cell expansion in agitated microcarrier culture.
Conclusions: Current serum-free media developed for monolayer cultures of MSCs may not support MSC proliferation in microcarrier cultures. Further optimization in medium composition will be required for microcarrier suspension culture for each cell line.
This research is supported by Bioprocessing Technology Institute, A*STAR