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Keywords:

  • human embryonic stem cells;
  • automation;
  • CompacT SelecT;
  • scalability;
  • process control

Abstract

Large-scale manufacture of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is prerequisite to their widespread use in biomedical applications. However, current hESC culture strategies are labor-intensive and employ highly variable processes, presenting challenges for scaled production and commercial development. Here we demonstrate that passaging of the hESC lines, HUES7, and NOTT1, with trypsin in feeder-free conditions, is compatible with complete automation on the CompacT SelecT, a commercially available and industrially relevant robotic platform. Pluripotency was successfully retained, as evidenced by consistent proliferation during serial passage, expression of stem cell markers (OCT4, NANOG, TRA1-81, and SSEA-4), stable karyotype, and multi-germlayer differentiation in vitro, including to pharmacologically responsive cardiomyocytes. Automation of hESC culture will expedite cell-use in clinical, scientific, and industrial applications. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2009;102: 1636–1644. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.