Gain Control of Culture Conditions: Technology for Sustained Delivery of Recombinant Proteins

Growth factors, added at the precise time and concentration to in vitro cultures are essential to control cell proliferation and differentiation. When added to a culture vessel, however, the concentrations of these signaling proteins rapidly decline, altering both levels of individual growth factors and the ratio of factors for cell signaling. When growth factors are replenished by exchanging the medium, concentrations peak, resulting in an ebb and flow of growth factor levels resulting in mixed signaling that can lead the cell population to become increasingly heterogenous. Optimizing cell cultures requires control of growth factor levels that drive the desired cell behavior.

Shenandoah Biotechnology and StemCultures solve the challenge of fluctuating growth factor signaling by integrating cell therapy grade, GMP recombinant growth factors with proprietary Defined Inserts for Sustainable Cultures (DISC) devices. DISCs are engineered to provide defined and sustained growth factor levels to cell cultures; stable growth factor levels promote cell homogeneity and growth. DISC devices are made of an inert, non-degradable biocompatible material that contains biodegradable StemBeads loaded with any one of several growth factors or cytokines. Placed directly into the cell culture media, the DISC devices enable control of the concentrations, combinations and ratios of growth factors and cytokines, creating more physiologic and controlled conditions. DISC devices can contain multiple microbeads with different growth factors or cytokines, each with a controlled release rate. The DISC devices are easily removed from the culture vessel and provide defined growth levels throughout the culture period.

This article describes the unique combination of cell therapy grade signaling proteins and DISC devices and provides experimental data to illustrate the benefits that controlled growth factor levels offers cell cultures.

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This article will be published in BPI’s January–February 2022 print issue.

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