Evaluation of smart microcarriers for high-density culture and enzymefree harvesting of primary dermal sheath cells and fibroblasts
RepliCel is a regenerative medicine company that develops autologous cell therapies to treat chronic tendinosis, UV-damaged or aged skin, and pattern baldness. The cells in this technology are isolated from skin biopsies obtained from patients. However, because of limited available tissue samples, RepliCel seeks novel technologies to improve their cell culture process, which is currently time-consuming, labor-intensive, and low throughput. The overarching goal of this partnership is to develop a high-density cell culture system using smart microcarriers that enables 1) producing millions of cells from small tissue samples taken from the back to the patient's scalp and 2) harvesting the cells without using enzymes. This proposal will build on the encouraging results we obtained from previous collaboration and optimize the microcarrier formulation and culture protocols for primary cells isolated from patients. The proposed research is anticipated to result in significant economic gains for BC and Canada since the targeted technology applies to an emerging and strategic market. Innovations in this area can reduce the costs associated with current cell-based treatment and transform the health and life sciences sectors.