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BMC Biotechnol. 2013 Nov 15;13:102. doi: 10.1186/1472-6750-13-102.

Large-scale cell production of stem cells for clinical application using the automated cell processing machine.

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Department of Regenerative Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, 465 Kajii-cho, Kawaramachi-Hirokoji, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan.



Cell-based regeneration therapies have great potential for application in new areas in clinical medicine, although some obstacles still remain to be overcome for a wide range of clinical applications. One major impediment is the difficulty in large-scale production of cells of interest with reproducibility. Current protocols of cell therapy require a time-consuming and laborious manual process. To solve this problem, we focused on the robotics of an automated and high-throughput cell culture system. Automated robotic cultivation of stem or progenitor cells in clinical trials has not been reported till date. The system AutoCulture used in this study can automatically replace the culture medium, centrifuge cells, split cells, and take photographs for morphological assessment. We examined the feasibility of this system in a clinical setting.


We observed similar characteristics by both the culture methods in terms of the growth rate, gene expression profile, cell surface profile by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, surface glycan profile, and genomic DNA stability. These results indicate that AutoCulture is a feasible method for the cultivation of human cells for regenerative medicine.


An automated cell-processing machine will play important roles in cell therapy and have widespread use from application in multicenter trials to provision of off-the-shelf cell products.

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