Bioreactor Suspension Culture: Differentiation and Production of Cardiomyocyte Spheroids From Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Academic Article


  • Human induced-pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) can be efficiently differentiated into cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) via the GiWi method, which uses small-molecule inhibitors of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) and tankyrase to first activate and then suppress Wnt signaling. However, this method is typically conducted in 6-well culture plates with two-dimensional (2D) cell sheets, and consequently, cannot be easily scaled to produce the large numbers of hiPSC-CMs needed for clinical applications. Cell suspensions are more suitable than 2D systems for commercial biomanufacturing, and suspended hiPSCs form free-floating aggregates (i.e., spheroids) that can also be differentiated into hiPSC-CMs. Here, we introduce a protocol for differentiating suspensions of hiPSC spheroids into cardiomyocytes that is based on the GiWi method. After optimization based on cardiac troponin T staining, the purity of hiPSC-CMs differentiated via our novel protocol exceeded 98% with yields of about 1.5 million hiPSC-CMs/mL and less between-batch purity variability than hiPSC-CMs produced in 2D cultures; furthermore, the culture volume could be increased ∼10-fold to 30 mL with no need for re-optimization, which suggests that this method can serve as a framework for large-scale hiPSC-CM production.
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    Author List

  • Kahn-Krell A; Pretorius D; Ou J; Fast VG; Litovsky S; Berry J; Liu X; Zhang J
  • Volume

  • 9