Continuous human iPSC-macrophage mass production by suspension culture in stirred tank bioreactors


Macrophages derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have the potential to enable the development of cell-based therapies for numerous disease conditions. We here provide a detailed protocol for the mass production of iPSC-derived macrophages (iPSC-Mac) in scalable suspension culture on an orbital shaker or in stirred-tank bioreactors (STBRs). This strategy is straightforward, robust and characterized by the differentiation of primed iPSC aggregates into 'myeloid-cell-forming-complex' intermediates by means of a minimal cytokine cocktail. In contrast to the 'batch-like differentiation approaches' established for other iPSC-derived lineages, myeloid-cell-forming-complex-intermediates are stably maintained in suspension culture and continuously generate functional and highly pure iPSC-Mac. Employing a culture volume of 120 ml in the STBR platform, ~1-4 × 107 iPSC-Mac can be harvested at weekly intervals for several months. The STBR technology allows for real-time monitoring of crucial process parameters such as biomass, pH, dissolved oxygen, and nutrition levels; the system also promotes systematic process development, optimization and linear upscaling. The process duration, from the expansion of iPSC until the first iPSC-Mac harvest, is 28 d. Successful application of the protocol requires expertise in pluripotent stem cell culture, differentiation and analytical methods, such as flow cytometry. Fundamental know-how in biotechnology is also advantageous to run the process in the STBR platform. The continuous, scalable production of well-defined iPSC-Mac populations is highly relevant to various fields, ranging from developmental biology, immunology and cell therapies to industrial applications for drug safety and discovery. © 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

Authors Ackermann M, Rafiei Hashtchin A, Manstein F, Carvalho Oliveira M, Kempf H, Zweigerdt R, Lachmann N
Journal Nature protocols
Publication Date 2022 Feb;17(2):513-539
PubMed 35039668
PubMed Central PMC7612500
DOI 10.1038/s41596-021-00654-7

Research Projects

Cell Lines