Microcarrier expansion of c-MycERTAM - modified human olfactory mucosa cells for neural regeneration

Ana Teresa De Sousa Valinhas, Gerardo Santiago-toledo, Ivan Wall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human olfactory mucosa cells (hOMCs) have potential as a regenerative therapy for spinal cord injury. In our earlier work, we derived PA5 cells, a polyclonal population that retains functional attributes of primary human OMCs. Microcarrier suspension culture is an alternative to planar two-dimensinal culture to produce cells in quantities that can meet the needs of clinical development. This study aimed to screen the effects of 10 microcarriers on PA5 hOMCs yield and phenotype. Studies performed in well plates led to a 2.9-fold higher cell yield on plastic compared to plastic plus microcarriers with upregulation of neural markers β-III tubulin and nestin for both conditions. Microcarrier suspension culture resulted in concentrations of 1.4 × 10 5 cells/ml and 4.9 × 10 4 cells/ml for plastic and plastic plus, respectively, after 7 days. p75 NTR transcript was significantly upregulated for PA5 hOMCs grown on Plastic Plus compared to Plastic. Furthermore, coculture of PA5 hOMCs grown on Plastic Plus with a neuronal cell line (NG108-15) led to increased neurite outgrowth. This study shows successful expansion of PA5 cells using suspension culture on microcarriers, and it reveals competing effects of microcarriers on cell expansion versus functional attributes, showing that designing scalable bioprocesses should not only be driven by cell yields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-344
Number of pages16
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number1
Early online date21 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors. Biotechnology and Bioengineering published by Wiley Periodicals LLC

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funding: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (1577824); Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología; Department of Biochemical Engineering, UCL


  • allogeneic cell therapy
  • human olfactory mucosa cells
  • microcarrier
  • spinal cord injury
  • suspension culture


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