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Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 2009;112:209-29. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-69357-4_9.

Methodology for optimal in vitro cell expansion in tissue engineering.

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Vascular Biology Program and Department of Surgery, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Expansion of the cell population in vitro has become an essential step in the process of tissue engineering and also the systematic optimization of culture conditions is now a fundamental problem that needs to be addressed. Herein, we provide a rational methodology for searching culture conditions that optimize the acquisition of large quantities of cells following a sequential expansion process. In particular, the analysis of both seeding density and passage length was considered crucial, and their correct selection should be taken as a requisite to establish culture conditions for monolayer systems. This methodology also introduces additional considerations concerning the running cost of the expansion process. The selection of culture conditions will be a compromise between optimal cell expansion and acceptable running cost. This compromise will normally translate into an increase of passage length further away from the optimal value dictated by the growth kinetic of the cells. Finally, the importance of incorporating functional assays to validate the phenotypical and functional characteristics of the expanded cells has been highlighted. The optimization approach presented will contribute to the development of feasible large scale expansion of cells required by the tissue engineering industry.

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