Application-Oriented Bulk Cryopreservation of Human iPSCs in Cryo Bags Followed by Direct Inoculation in Scalable Suspension Bioreactors for Expansion and Neural Differentiation


Stem cell-based therapies are promising tools for regenerative medicine and require bulk numbers of high-quality cells. Currently, cells are produced on demand and have a limited shelf-life as conventional cryopreservation is primarily designed for stock keeping. We present a study on bulk cryopreservation of the human iPSC lines UKKi011-A and BIONi010-C-41. By increasing cell concentration and volume, compared to conventional cryopreservation routines in cryo vials, one billion cells were frozen in 50 mL cryo bags. Upon thawing, the cells were immediately seeded in scalable suspension-based bioreactors for expansion to assess the stemness maintenance and for neural differentiation to assess their differentiation potential on the gene and protein levels. Both the conventional and bulk cryo approach show comparative results regarding viability and aggregation upon thawing and bioreactor inoculation. Reduced performance compared to the non-frozen control was compensated within 3 days regarding biomass yield. Stemness was maintained upon thawing in expansion. In neural differentiation, a delay of the neural marker expression on day 4 was compensated at day 9. We conclude that cryopreservation in cryo bags, using high cell concentrations and volumes, does not alter the cells' fate and is a suitable technology to avoid pre-cultivation and enable time- and cost-efficient therapeutic approaches with bulk cell numbers.

Authors Meiser I, Alstrup M, Khalesi E, Stephan B, Speicher AM, Majer J, Kwok CK, Neubauer JC, Hansson M, Zimmermann H
Journal Cells
Publication Date 2023 Jul 22;12(14)
PubMed 37508576
PubMed Central PMC10378238
DOI 10.3390/cells12141914

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