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Transfus Med Hemother. 2013 Oct;40(5):326-35. doi: 10.1159/000354061. Epub 2013 Aug 26.

Platelet lysate as replacement for fetal bovine serum in mesenchymal stromal cell cultures.

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Institute of Transfusion Medicine and Immunology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, German Red Cross Blood Service Baden-Württemberg - Hessen, Mannheim, Germany.


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) emerged as highly attractive in cell-based regenerative medicine. Initially thought to provide cells capable of differentiation towards mesenchymal cell types (osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes etc.), by and by potent immunoregulatory and pro-regenerative activities have been discovered, broadening the field of potential applications from bone and cartilage regeneration to wound healing and treatment of autoimmune diseases. Due to the limited frequency in most tissue sources, ex vivo expansion of MSC is required compliant with good manufacturing practice (GMP) guidelines to yield clinically relevant cell doses. Though, still most manufacturing protocols use fetal bovine serum (FBS) as cell culture supplement to isolate and to expand MSC. However, the high lot-to-lot variability as well as risk of contamination and immunization call for xenogenic-free culture conditions. In terms of standardization, chemically defined media appear as the ultimate achievement. Since these media need to maintain all key cellular and therapy-relevant features of MSC, the development of chemically defined media is still - albeit highly investigated - only in its beginning. The current alternatives to FBS rely on human blood-derived components: plasma, serum, umbilical cord blood serum, and platelet derivatives like platelet lysate. Focusing on quality aspects, the latter will be addressed within this review.


Fetal bovine serum; Good manufacturing practice; Mesenchymal stromal cells; Platelet lysate; Platelet releasate

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