Serum-free media for improved clinical-scale expansion of MSCs

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are of great interest for applications in regenerative medicine. With several phase II/III clinical trials registered and more to come, reproducible culture conditions become increasingly important

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Sep 20, 2017

Human and bovine sera are used as common supplements for the expansion of MSCs in cell culture. However, the safety profile and donor variation of serum are concerns when it comes to the translation of MSC research into pre-clinical or clinical studies. Researchers at Miltenyi Biotec have therefore developed a serum- and xeno-free MSC media formulation that is available in both research and GMP grade.

Superior expansion rates

When isolated from various tissues, MSCs are typically present in low numbers. To reach a clinically relevant scale, ex vivo expansion to 2x108 cells and more is essential. The time required for expansion largely depends on the cultivation system and requires 30 days and more when using conventional serum-containing media. Strikingly, using the novel xeno-free media formulations such as MSC-Brew GMP Medium, expansion time of clinically relevant cell numbers can be reduced by 12-13 days , thereby reducing the overall production time and costs significantly.

No attachment substrate required

A drawback of many serum-free MSC media formulations is the requirement for special cell attachment substrates. Composed of serum components, fibronectin, or proprietary attachment factors, these attachment substrates facilitate the adherence of freshly isolated MSCs to the cell culture plastic. They can only be omitted once the cultured MSCs produce sufficient amounts of extracellular matrix components endogenously. However, attachment substrates used for cell manufacturing represent additional raw/ancillary materials that require approval by the relevant regulatory bodies.The StemMACS™ MSC Expansion Media Kit XF and its corresponding MSC-Brew GMP Medium have been developed for efficient culture without the need for external substrates.

Full potential for differentiation and immunomodulation

Retaining full differentiation potential and immunomodulatory properties is key when expanding primary MSCs for clinical applications. Optimal culture conditions that support well proliferating MSCs, allow low passage numbers thereby reducing the risk for mutations or abnormalities during ex vivo expansion. MSCs that have been cultured in MSC-Brew GMP Medium, were shown to retain their potential for T cell suppression, as well as differentiation into adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes.

Read on:

Scientific poster: Expansion of primary MSCs using MSC-Brew GMP Medium

On-demand webinar: Clinical scale cultivation of MSCs

Request a sample of MSC-Brew GMP Medium

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Miltenyi Biotec

At Miltenyi Biotec, we’re committed to empowering scientific discovery and impacting human lives. For 30 years, our work has played an essential role in the biomedical research and cellular therapy community. Our innovative tools support research at every level, from basic research to translational research to clinical application. Used by scientists and clinicians around the world, our integrated technologies cover techniques of sample preparation, cell isolation, cell sorting, flow cytometry, cell culture, molecular analysis, and preclinical imaging. Our expertise spans research areas including immunology, stem cell biology, neuroscience, and cancer, and clinical research areas like hematology, graft engineering, and apheresis. Today, Miltenyi Biotec has 2,500 employees in 28 countries.

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