GMP-grade microcarrier and automated closed industrial scale cell production platform for culture of MSCs

J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2022 Oct;16(10):934-944. doi: 10.1002/term.3341. Epub 2022 Aug 5.


Efficient and large-scale expansion of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) has always been a formidable challenge to researchers in cell-based therapies and regenerative medicine. To reconcile major drawbacks of 2D planar culturing system, we innovatively developed an automated closed industrial scale cell production (ACISCP) platform based on GMP-grade microcarrier for culture of umbilical cord-mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (UCMSCs), in accordance with the criteria of stem cell bank. ACISCP system is a fully closed system, which employs different models of vivaSPIN bioreactors (CytoNiche Biotech, China) for scale-up cell culture and vivaPREP (CytoNiche Biotech, China) for automated cell harvesting and cell dosage preparation. To realize industrial scale expansion of UCMSCs, a three-stage expansion was conducted with 1 L, 5 and 15 L vivaSPIN bioreactors. Using 3D TableTrix® and ACISCP system, we inoculated 1.5 × 107 of UCMSCs into 1 L vivaSPIN bioreactor and finally scaled to two 15 L bioreactor. A final yield of 2.09 × 1010 cells with an overall expansion factor of 1975 within 13 days. The cells were harvested, concentrated, washed and prepared automatically with vivaPREP. The entire process was realized with ACISCP platform and was totally enclosed. Critical quality attributes (CQA) assessments and release tests of MSCs, including sterility, safety, purity, viability, identity, stability and potency were performed accordingly. The quality of cells harvested from 3D culture on the ACISCP and conventional 2D planar culture counterpart has no significant difference. This study provides a bioprocess engineering platform, harnessing GMP-grade 3D TableTrix® microcarriers and ACISCP to achieve industrial-scale manufacturing of clinical-grade hMSCs.

Keywords: GMP; MSCs; bioreactor; cell therapy; microcarrier.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bioreactors
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells*
  • Umbilical Cord