Scalability and process transfer of mesenchymal stromal cell production from monolayer to microcarrier culture using human platelet lysate

Thomas R.J. Heathman, Alexandra Stolzing, Claire Fabian, Qasim A. Rafiq, Karen Coopman, Alvin W. Nienow, Bo Kara, Christopher J. Hewitt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background aims: The selection of medium and associated reagents for human mesenchymal stromal cell (hMSC) culture forms an integral part of manufacturing process development and must be suitable for multiple process scales and expansion technologies. Methods: In this work, we have expanded BM-hMSCs in fetal bovine serum (FBS)- and human platelet lysate (HPL)-containing media in both a monolayer and a suspension-based microcarrier process. Results: The introduction of HPL into the monolayer process increased the BM-hMSC growth rate at the first experimental passage by 0.049 day and 0.127/day for the two BM-hMSC donors compared with the FBS-based monolayer process. This increase in growth rate in HPL-containing medium was associated with an increase in the inter-donor consistency, with an inter-donor range of 0.406 cumulative population doublings after 18 days compared with 2.013 in FBS-containing medium. Identity and quality characteristics of the BM-hMSCs are also comparable between conditions in terms of colony-forming potential, osteogenic potential and expression of key genes during monolayer and post-harvest from microcarrier expansion. BM-hMSCs cultured on microcarriers in HPL-containing medium demonstrated a reduction in the initial lag phase for both BM-hMSC donors and an increased BM-hMSC yield after 6 days of culture to 1.20 ± 0.17 × 105 and 1.02 ± 0.005 × 105 cells/mL compared with 0.79 ± 0.05 × 105 and 0.36 ± 0.04 × 105 cells/mL in FBS-containing medium. Conclusions: This study has demonstrated that HPL, compared with FBS-containing medium, delivers increased growth and comparability across two BM-hMSC donors between monolayer and microcarrier culture, which will have key implications for process transfer during scale-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-535
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Early online date10 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2016 International Society for Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

Funding: EPSRC (EP/L015072/1) and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies.

Supplementary data to this article can be found online at DOI:10.1016/j.jcyt.2016.01.007


  • bioprocess
  • cell-based therapy
  • comparability
  • harvest
  • human platelet lysate
  • manufacture
  • mesenchymal stromal cell
  • microcarrier expansion
  • process development
  • process transfer


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