Realizing Large-Scale Production of High-Quality Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells through a Systematic Investigation on the Characterization and Protocol Optimization of Single-Use, Scalable, Vertical-Wheel Bioreactors
For stem cell discoveries to translate into improved health solutions for Canadians, we must use engineering manufacturing practices to grow enough cells safely and efficiently. Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) have the unique ability to transform into any cell in the body when subjected to specified environmental conditions. They are invaluable in studying disease and gene functions and can be differentiated for potential use in transplantation. This project will focus on optimizing expansion protocols to overcome the engineering challenges in moving from bench-scale static culture methods of growing PSCs to using commercial size bioreactors for efficient and economic production. The proposed work will combine fluid dynamic modeling to predict bioreactor operating conditions with systematic biologically testing to determine cell responses and optimal environments. Outcomes will put us closer to achieving our long-term goal of using stem cell technologies to help Canadians through genetic studies, drug testing, and organ transplantation.