Regenerative medicine, including preclinical studies in large animal models and tissue engineering approaches as well as innovative assays for drug discovery, will require the constant supply of hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and other functional progenies. Respective cell production processes must be robust, economically viable and ultimately GMP-compliant. Recent research has enabled transition of lab scale protocols for hPSC expansion and cardiomyogenic differentiation towards more controlled processing in industry-compatible culture platforms. Here, advanced strategies for the cultivation and differentiation of hPSCs will be reviewed by focusing on stirred bioreactor-based techniques for process upscaling. We will discuss how cardiomyocyte mass production might benefit from recent findings such as cell expansion at the cardiovascular progenitor state. Finally, remaining challenges will be highlighted, specifically regarding three dimensional (3D) hPSC suspension culture and critical safety issues ahead of clinical translation.
Keywords: Bioreactor; Cardiomyocytes; Differentiation; Human pluripotent stem cells; Process development; Scale-up.
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