Researchers develop new gelatin microcarrier for cell production

Researchers from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) have developed a novel microcarrier for large-scale cell production and expansion that offers higher yield and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional methods, and reduces steps required in the cell retrieval process.

Microcarriers are particles used in bioreactor-based cell manufacturing of anchorage-dependent cells. SMART's newly developed dissolvable gelatin-based microcarrier has proven useful for expansion of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), a cell type of great current interest as they can be isolated from adult tissues and further expanded to treat various ailments such as bone and cartilage defects and the body's rejection of foreign bone-marrow and cells. This dissolvability of the microcarriers also eliminates an additional separation step to retrieve the cells from the microcarriers. This reduces the complexity of cell manufacturing and increasing the ease with which the therapeutic cells can be harvested to make the product for patients.

DMSE Professor Krystyn Van Vliet, the co-author of the paper and Lead Principal Investigator at CAMP, said: "Innovations in microcarriers will aid in the scalability of certain cell types such as mesenchymal stromal cells for cell-based therapy, including for regenerative medicine applications. Developing a microcarrier platform for MSC culture has been a key part for SMART CAMP's understanding and managing the critical quality attributes of these cell therapy products. We hope our findings help bring about better, more efficient and scalable cell therapies with predictable therapeutic outcomes for multiple patient needs, and high harvesting efficiency of those potent cells."