Serum replacement with albumin-associated lipids prevents excess aggregation and enhances growth of induced pluripotent stem cells in suspension culture

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Suspension culture systems are currently under investigation for the mass production of pluripotent stem (PS) cells for tissue engineering; however, the control of cell aggregation in suspension culture remains challenging. Existing methods to control aggregation such as microwell culture are difficult to scale up. To address this issue, in this study a novel method that incorporates the addition of KnockOut Serum Replacement (KSR) to the PS cell culture medium was described. The method regulated cellular aggregation and significantly improved cell growth (a 2- to 10-fold increase) without any influence on pluripotency. In addition, albumin-associated lipids as the major working ingredient of KSR responsible for this inhibition of aggregation were identified. This is one of the simplest methods described to date to control aggregation and requires only chemically synthesizable reagents. Thus, this method has the potential to simplify the mass production process of PS cells and thus lower their cost. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 32:1009–1016, 2016

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