TODAY’S RESEARCH, TOMORROW’S CELLULAR THERAPY
The Stem Cell Bioprocessing Group is focused on developing scalable cell expansion technologies using a microcarrier platform to facilitate the goal of using stem cells for cell therapy. Traditional methods of producing anchorage dependent stem cells in flasks and trays are not scalable for commercial cell production. Therefore new methods of stem cell production in bioreactors are urgently needed.
To achieve the goal of producing stem cells in quantities required for therapeutic applications, we have developed expertise in suspension bioreactor cultures using a variety of microcarriers to expand stem cells (human embryonic, pluripotent, and mesenchymal stem cells) to densities 3 to 10 fold higher than conventional 2D cultures. We have experience in culturing these stem cells in serum free media and defined surfaces. High yields of cardiomyocytes, neural stem cells and osteoblasts have also been established on this platform.
Non-invasive bioprocess monitoring of pluripotent stem cells and cardiomyocytes are also being developed with SIMTech and I2R. In addition, we are developing biodegradable microcarriers together with collaborations at IMRE, with dual purposes for cell culture and implantation in vivo; and small molecules for differentiating stem cells to cardiomyocytes (with ICES), neural progenitors and osteocytes.
Furthermore we are working with clinical partners (NUHS and Hong Kong University) to deliver stem cells to animal models of heart, bone, and cartilage repair.