Processing of hematopoietic stem cells from peripheral blood before cryopreservation: use of a closed automated system

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Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is commonly used to treat several oncohematologic diseases. The autologous hematopoietic progenitor cells collected through apheresis (HPC-A) must be cryopreserved and stored before use in vivo. Cell processing that precedes cryopreservation of HPC-A includes volume reduction aimed at reducing the amount of dimethyl sulfoxide used, as well as storage space.


The aim of our study was to assess the effectiveness of volume reduction performed with an automated closed system, namely, the Sepax S100 cell separation device (Biosafe SA). A total of 165 procedures were carried out on concentrates collected from 104 adult and pediatric patients. As a control group, 30 HPC-A units processed according to the standard method (i.e., centrifugation at a speed of 850 × g for 10 minutes, followed by manual plasma reduction) were evaluated.


The volume reduction obtained was 59% (range, 20.54%-84.21%; standard deviation [SD], ±12.19%), going from 236 mL (range, 100-443 mL; SD, ±80.41 mL) to 97 mL (range, 33.00-263.00 mL; SD, ±47.41 mL); recovery of nucleated cells was 90% (range, 64.84%-105.93%; SD, ±8.76%), while that of CD34+ cells was 91% (range, 59.30%-119.37%; SD, ±13.30%). These values did not differ from those obtained using the standard method. Automated processing required 20 minutes versus 40 minutes of manual processing.


Our data demonstrate that volume reduction carried out with the Sepax S100 automated system was particularly effective; cell recovery was excellent and the time spent was short. Moreover, the closed system allows cell processing to be carried out in a contamination-controlled environment, in accordance with good manufacturing practice guidelines.

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