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    Automated, scalable culture of human embryonic stem cells in feeder-free conditions. Thomas Rob J,Anderson David,Chandra Amit,Smith Nigel M,Young Lorraine E,Williams David,Denning Chris Biotechnology and bioengineering Large-scale manufacture of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is prerequisite to their widespread use in biomedical applications. However, current hESC culture strategies are labor-intensive and employ highly variable processes, presenting challenges for scaled production and commercial development. Here we demonstrate that passaging of the hESC lines, HUES7, and NOTT1, with trypsin in feeder-free conditions, is compatible with complete automation on the CompacT SelecT, a commercially available and industrially relevant robotic platform. Pluripotency was successfully retained, as evidenced by consistent proliferation during serial passage, expression of stem cell markers (OCT4, NANOG, TRA1-81, and SSEA-4), stable karyotype, and multi-germlayer differentiation in vitro, including to pharmacologically responsive cardiomyocytes. Automation of hESC culture will expedite cell-use in clinical, scientific, and industrial applications. 10.1002/bit.22187
    Automated adherent human cell culture (mesenchymal stem cells). Thomas Robert,Ratcliffe Elizabeth Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) Human cell culture processes developed at research laboratory scale need to be translated to large-scale production processes to achieve commercial application to a large market. To allow this transition of scale with consistent process performance and control of costs, it will be necessary to reduce manual processing and increase automation. There are a number of commercially available platforms that will reduce manual process intervention and improve process control for different culture formats. However, in many human cell-based applications, there is currently a need to remain close to the development format, usually adherent culture on cell culture plastic or matrix-coated wells or flasks due to deterioration of cell quality in other environments, such as suspension. This chapter presents an example method for adherent automated human stem cell culture using a specific automated flask handling platform, the CompacT SelecT. 10.1007/978-1-61779-367-7_26
    Automated large-scale culture and medium-throughput chemical screen for modulators of proliferation and viability of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neuroepithelial-like stem cells. McLaren Donna,Gorba Thorsten,Marguerie de Rotrou Anita,Pillai Gopalan,Chappell Clare,Stacey Alison,Lingard Sarah,Falk Anna,Smith Austin,Koch Philipp,Brüstle Oliver,Vickers Richard,Tinsley Jon,Flanders David,Bello Paul,Craig Stewart Journal of biomolecular screening The aim of this study was to demonstrate proof-of-concept feasibility for the use of human neural stem cells (NSCs) for high-throughput screening (HTS) applications. For this study, an adherent human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived long-term, self-renewing, neuroepithelial-like stem (lt-NES) cell line was selected as a representative NSC. Here, we describe the automated large-scale serum-free culture ("scale-up") of human lt-NES cells on the CompacT SelecT cell culture robotic platform, followed by their subsequent automated "scale-out" into a microwell plate format. We also report a medium-throughput screen of 1000 compounds to identify modulators of neural stem cell proliferation and/or survival. The screen was performed on two independent occasions using a cell viability assay with end-point reading resulting in the identification of 24 potential hit compounds, 5 of which were found to increase the proliferation and/or survival of human lt-NES on both occasions. Follow-up studies confirmed a dose-dependent effect of one of the hit compounds, which was a Cdk-2 modulator. This approach could be further developed as part of a strategy to screen compounds to either improve the procedures for the in vitro expansion of neural stem cells or to potentially modulate endogenous neural stem cell behavior in the diseased nervous system. 10.1177/1087057112461446
    Investigating the feasibility of scale up and automation of human induced pluripotent stem cells cultured in aggregates in feeder free conditions. Soares Filipa A C,Chandra Amit,Thomas Robert J,Pedersen Roger A,Vallier Ludovic,Williams David J Journal of biotechnology The transfer of a laboratory process into a manufacturing facility is one of the most critical steps required for the large scale production of cell-based therapy products. This study describes the first published protocol for scalable automated expansion of human induced pluripotent stem cell lines growing in aggregates in feeder-free and chemically defined medium. Cells were successfully transferred between different sites representative of research and manufacturing settings; and passaged manually and using the CompacT SelecT automation platform. Modified protocols were developed for the automated system and the management of cells aggregates (clumps) was identified as the critical step. Cellular morphology, pluripotency gene expression and differentiation into the three germ layers have been used compare the outcomes of manual and automated processes. 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2013.12.009
    Distributed automated manufacturing of pluripotent stem cell products. Shariatzadeh Maryam,Chandra Amit,Wilson Samantha L,McCall Mark J,Morizur Lise,Lesueur Léa,Chose Olivier,Gepp Michael M,Schulz André,Neubauer Julia C,Zimmermann Heiko,Abranches Elsa,Man Jennifer,O'Shea Orla,Stacey Glyn,Hewitt Zoe,Williams David J The International journal, advanced manufacturing technology Establishing how to effectively manufacture cell therapies is an industry-level problem. Decentralised manufacturing is of increasing importance, and its challenges are recognised by healthcare regulators with deviations and comparability issues receiving specific attention from them. This paper is the first to report the deviations and other risks encountered when implementing the expansion of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) in an automated three international site-decentralised manufacturing setting. An experimental demonstrator project expanded a human embryonal carcinoma cell line (2102Ep) at three development sites in France, Germany and the UK using the CompacT SelecT (Sartorius Stedim, Royston, UK) automated cell culture platform. Anticipated variations between sites spanned material input, features of the process itself and production system details including different quality management systems and personnel. Where possible, these were pre-addressed by implementing strategies including standardisation, cell bank mycoplasma testing and specific engineering and process improvements. However, despite such measures, unexpected deviations occurred between sites including software incompatibility and machine/process errors together with uncharacteristic contaminations. Many only became apparent during process proving or during the process run. Further, parameters including growth rate and viability discrepancies could only be determined post-run, preventing 'live' corrective measures. The work confirms the critical nature of approaches usually taken in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) manufacturing settings and especially emphasises the requirement for monitoring steps to be included within the production system. Real-time process monitoring coupled with carefully structured quality systems is essential for multiple site working including clarity of decision-making roles. Additionally, an over-reliance upon post-process visual microscopic comparisons has major limitations; it is difficult for non-experts to detect deleterious culture changes and such detection is slow. 10.1007/s00170-019-04516-1
    Comparability of automated human induced pluripotent stem cell culture: a pilot study. Archibald Peter R T,Chandra Amit,Thomas Dave,Chose Olivier,Massouridès Emmanuelle,Laâbi Yacine,Williams David J Bioprocess and biosystems engineering Consistent and robust manufacturing is essential for the translation of cell therapies, and the utilisation automation throughout the manufacturing process may allow for improvements in quality control, scalability, reproducibility and economics of the process. The aim of this study was to measure and establish the comparability between alternative process steps for the culture of hiPSCs. Consequently, the effects of manual centrifugation and automated non-centrifugation process steps, performed using TAP Biosystems' CompacT SelecT automated cell culture platform, upon the culture of a human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) line (VAX001024c07) were compared. This study, has demonstrated that comparable morphologies and cell diameters were observed in hiPSCs cultured using either manual or automated process steps. However, non-centrifugation hiPSC populations exhibited greater cell yields, greater aggregate rates, increased pluripotency marker expression, and decreased differentiation marker expression compared to centrifugation hiPSCs. A trend for decreased variability in cell yield was also observed after the utilisation of the automated process step. This study also highlights the detrimental effect of the cryopreservation and thawing processes upon the growth and characteristics of hiPSC cultures, and demonstrates that automated hiPSC manufacturing protocols can be successfully transferred between independent laboratories. 10.1007/s00449-016-1659-9