Automated, scalable culture of human embryonic stem cells in feeder-free conditions

Biotechnol Bioeng. 2009 Apr 15;102(6):1636-44. doi: 10.1002/bit.22187.


Large-scale manufacture of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is prerequisite to their widespread use in biomedical applications. However, current hESC culture strategies are labor-intensive and employ highly variable processes, presenting challenges for scaled production and commercial development. Here we demonstrate that passaging of the hESC lines, HUES7, and NOTT1, with trypsin in feeder-free conditions, is compatible with complete automation on the CompacT SelecT, a commercially available and industrially relevant robotic platform. Pluripotency was successfully retained, as evidenced by consistent proliferation during serial passage, expression of stem cell markers (OCT4, NANOG, TRA1-81, and SSEA-4), stable karyotype, and multi-germlayer differentiation in vitro, including to pharmacologically responsive cardiomyocytes. Automation of hESC culture will expedite cell-use in clinical, scientific, and industrial applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Cell Culture Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Embryonic Stem Cells*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells*
  • Robotics
  • Trypsin / chemistry


  • Biomarkers
  • Trypsin