Cell culture system for the expansion of human pluripotent cells
A UK start-up has launched a fully defined cell culture media for human pluripotent cells. Pluripotency is tightly controlled so that single cell passaging and confluent monolayer expansion are enabled. Already offering savings in time and money, it will be amenable to automation. Stem cell laboratories in the industry and academia are sought for commercial agreements with technical assistance.
Stem cells hold great promise in medicine and life science. Cellular therapies for a wide variety of injuries and diseases have reached the clinic including therapeutic modalities for spinal cord repair, retinal degeneration and joint defects. Moreover, since human pluripotent cells (hPSCs) can now be developed from adult tissue, using induced PSC technology, autologous stem cell therapy, without risk of transplant rejection, has become a possibility.
Another field that stem cells will soon revolutionise are drug development and toxicology. They are expected to eventually reduce the current amount of animal testing process.
A core activity in stem cell science is expansion to provide large numbers of pluripotent cells which can then be differentiated into specialised cells for therapeutic or research applications.
This is a costly, painstaking, non-scalable process at the moment. Maintaining cells in a pluripotent state requires specialist media which contain supportive proteins, ions, metabolites and growth factors that promote self-renewal and suppress differentiation. It also means frequent passaging to limit colony size, and complex substrates producing variable results.
A UK startup has now acquired the IP on, and started manufacturing, of an hPSC media that is 5 times more efficient than colony based systems. This fully defined media allows feeder-free, single cell passaging, confluent maintenance of hPSCs. It has been developed alongside a novel, fully defined matrix.
The new media and matrix allow scalable, confluent culture expansion of hPSCs in a manner similar to fibroblasts. The media has recently been successfully evaluated by leading laboratories in the UK and USA.
Partner expertise sought:
- Type of partner sought: industry and academia;
- Specific area of activity of the partner: research into stem cells;
- Task to be performed by the partner sought: stem cell labs worldwide can obtain the media supported by technical advice for particular applications from the UK company.