Bioreactors for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Expansion and Differentiation
Cell-based therapies and other biomedical applications of stem cell-derived products, such as drug screening, toxicology assays and disease modelling, have attracted great attention in the medical communities in the recent years. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) emerged as an unlimited source of functional and specialized cell types in vitro, such as nerve cells, hepatocytes and cardiomyocytes, which are of high value for therapeutic applications. To fulfil the very high cell number required for these applications, the scaling-up of bioprocesses for the expansion and differentiation of these cells is mandatory. Here, the recent developments in hPSC culture in bioreactor-based systems will be reviewed focusing particularly on different tridimensional (3D) cell culture and bioreactor configurations and the critical parameters for a successful and efficient expansion and differentiation of hPSC into cells of the three germ layers, including the generation of organoids. We review the achievements in large-scale hPSC culture, highlighting the great potential of hPSC in the field of translational medicine, and the necessary cues for the implementation of a defined, cost-effective, robust and GMP-compliant process.