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Biotechnol Prog. 2013 Jul-Aug;29(4):1013-22. doi: 10.1002/btpr.1742. Epub 2013 May 9.

Three-dimensional neural differentiation of embryonic stem cells with ACM induction in microfibrous matrices in bioreactors.

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  • 1William G. Lowrie Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


The clinical use of pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived neural cells requires an efficient differentiation process for mass production in a bioreactor. Toward this goal, neural differentiation of murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in three-dimensional (3D) polyethylene terephthalate microfibrous matrices was investigated in this study. To streamline the process and provide a platform for process integration, the neural differentiation of ESCs was induced with astrocyte-conditioned medium without the formation of embryoid bodies, starting from undifferentiated ESC aggregates expanded in a suspension bioreactor. The 3D neural differentiation was able to generate a complex neural network in the matrices. When compared to 2D differentiation, 3D differentiation in microfibrous matrices resulted in a higher percentage of nestin-positive cells (68% vs. 54%) and upregulated gene expressions of nestin, Nurr1, and tyrosine hydroxylase. High purity of neural differentiation in 3D microfibrous matrix was also demonstrated in a spinner bioreactor with 74% nestin + cells. This study demonstrated the feasibility of a scalable process based on 3D differentiation in microfibrous matrices for the production of ESC-derived neural cells.

© 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


astrocyte conditioned medium; bioreactor; embryonic stem cell; microfibrous matrix; neural differentiation; three-dimensional

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