• cell sheet;
  • transportation;
  • container;
  • fibroblast;
  • temperature-responsive;
  • cell viability


Here we report transportation of cell sheets fabricated on temperature-responsive culture surfaces for regenerative medicine. On the surfaces cells adhere, spread and proliferate at 37 °C, but upon temperature reduction below 32 °C all the cells are spontaneously detached. When cells on the surfaces are challenged by long distance transportation, maintaining the temperature is critical. Therefore, we developed a portable homothermal container to keep the inner temperature at 36 °C for > 30 h without any need for batteries or energy supply. We transported and compared fibroblast sheets cultured on temperature-responsive surfaces in the container, at room temperature in a car, or on ice. After 8 h transportation by car, all cells at room temperature and on ice were detached from the surfaces and some were folded and broken into tiny pieces. On the other hand, fibroblast sheets transported in the container retained their adhesion to the dish surfaces and intact cell sheets were successfully harvested by temperature reduction. During the transportation, cell viability and histology were not impaired. This unique transportation device would be useful for cell sheet-based regenerative medicine utilizing temperature-responsive culture surfaces. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.