Inertial-Based Filtration Method for Removal of Microcarriers from Mesenchymal Stem Cell Suspensions

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Scientific Reports, 2018, 8 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2018, The Author(s). Rapidly evolving cell-based therapies towards clinical trials demand alternative approaches for efficient expansion of adherent cell types such as human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Using microcarriers (100–300 µm) in a stirred tank bioreactor offers considerably enhanced surface to volume ratio of culture environment. However, downstream purification of the harvested cell product needs to be addressed carefully due to distinctive features and fragility of these cell products. This work demonstrates a novel alternative approach which utilizes inertial focusing to separate microcarriers (MCs) from the final cell suspension. First, we systematically investigated MC focusing dynamics inside scaled-up curved channels with trapezoidal and rectangular cross-sections. A trapezoidal spiral channel with ultra-low-slope (Tan(α) = 0.0375) was found to contribute to strong MC focusing (~300 < Re < ~400) while managing high MC volume fractions up to ~1.68%. Accordingly, the high-throughput trapezoidal spiral channel successfully separated MCs from hMSC suspension with total cell yield~94% (after two passes) at a high volumetric flow rate of ~30 mL/min (Re~326.5).
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