A Compact, Automated Cell Culture System for Clinical Scale Cell Expansion from Primary Tissues

Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan.
Tissue Engineering Part C Methods (Impact Factor: 4.64). 12/2009; 16(5):947-56. DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2009.0305
Source: PubMed


Despite the growing number of clinically practical automated cell culture systems, demand is also increasing for more compact platforms with greater capabilities to prepare primary cells directly from patient tissue. Here we report the development of an automated cell culture system that is also compact. The machinery consisted of a supply unit, an incubation unit, and a collection unit, which fit within a 70 cm x 60 cm x 86 cm space. The compact size was enabled by our concept of using a single culture vessel from the primary culture steps to final cell harvest instead of scaling up with multiple culture vessels. Human fibroblasts and bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) were successfully cultured with this system over 19 days without contamination. From three pieces of gingival tissue (2 mm x 2 mm) or from 10 mL of bone marrow aspirate, the system could produce more than 2.0x10(7) cells and up to 3.0x10(7) cells for fibroblasts and BMSCs, respectively. The BMSCs produced by this system were capable of ectopic bone formation after transplantation into the subcutaneous space of nude mice. Our prototype system will provide a foundation for minimizing automatic culture machinery with clinically relevant cell yields while also expanding the automation capabilities to include primary tissue culture.

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