Continuous WNT Control Enables Advanced hPSC Cardiac Processing and Prognostic Surface Marker Identification in Chemically Defined Suspension Culture


Aiming at clinical translation, robust directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), preferentially in chemically defined conditions, is a key requirement. Here, feasibility of suspension culture based hPSC-cardiomyocyte (hPSC-CM) production in low-cost, xeno-free media compatible with good manufacturing practice standards is shown. Applying stirred tank bioreactor systems at increasing dimensions, our advanced protocol enables routine production of about 1 million hPSC-CMs/mL, yielding ∼1.3 × 108 CM in 150 mL and ∼4.0 × 108 CMs in 350-500 mL process scale at >90% lineage purity. Process robustness and efficiency is ensured by uninterrupted chemical WNT pathway control at early stages of differentiation and results in the formation of almost exclusively ventricular-like CMs. Modulated WNT pathway regulation also revealed the previously unappreciated role of ROR1/CD13 as superior surrogate markers for predicting cardiac differentiation efficiency as soon as 72 h of differentiation. This monitoring strategy facilitates process upscaling and controlled mass production of hPSC derivatives. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Authors Halloin C, Schwanke K, Löbel W, Franke A, Szepes M, Biswanath S, Wunderlich S, Merkert S, Weber N, Osten F, de la Roche J, Polten F, Christoph Wollert K, Kraft T, Fischer M, Martin U, Gruh I, Kempf H, Zweigerdt R
Journal Stem cell reports
Publication Date 2019 Aug 13;13(2):366-379
PubMed 31353227
PubMed Central PMC6700605
DOI 10.1016/j.stemcr.2019.06.004

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