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Biotechnol Lett. 2012 Dec;34(12):2307-15. doi: 10.1007/s10529-012-1033-1. Epub 2012 Sep 15.

Scale-up of human embryonic stem cell culture using a hollow fibre bioreactor.

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The Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, University College London, London, UK.


The commercialisation of human embryonic stem cell derived cell therapies for large patient populations is reliant on both minimising expensive and variable manual-handling methods whilst realising economies of scale. The Quantum Cell Expansion System, a hollow fibre bioreactor (Terumo BCT), was used in a pilot study to expand 60 million human embryonic stem cells to 708 million cells. Further improvements can be expected with optimisation of media flow rates throughout the run to better control the cellular microenvironment. High levels of pluripotency marker expression were maintained on the bioreactor, with 97.7 % of cells expressing SSEA-4 when harvested.

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