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Title: Manufacturing of human mesenchymal stem cells : the analytical challenges
Author: Neale-Edwards, Emma C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 870X
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2018
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It has been repeatedly proven that cell therapies can address many current unmet clinical treatment needs and also improve on current treatment options for various diseases, from neurological disorders to bone repair (Rosset et al. 2014; Corey et al. 2017). Though the potential of cell therapies has been demonstrated at a relatively small scale, the realisation of bringing cell based treatments to a larger market is hindered by the complexity of the product along with safety concerned and high production cost. Safety concerns can be informed with more in-depth analytical analysis of the product, however this in turn increase the costs involved in producing a cell therapy (Davie et al. 2012). Consequently the cost of analytical techniques also needs to be reduced, to address this need the area of microfluidic based bioanalytics holds much promise (Titmarsh et al. 2014). The culturing of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) was used as a proof of concept model to demonstrate where improved bioanalytical and bioassay methods could be utilised in the production of cell therapies. Cells from four donors were cultured under three different oxygen environments and the conditioned medium assessed for pro-angiogenic capabilities using a tube formation bioassay and a proportion of the cytokine secretome profile measured using Luminex technology. Thorough secretome analysis it was shown that predicting cytokine levels based solely on the donor was not possible as the handling of the cells also had an influence on the secretome profile. The donor expression profiles did not behave in the same manner across all oxygen environments, for example in some donors IL-8 levels increased per cell at lower oxygen where as other donors showed a decrease per cell. While the tube formation assay showed some differences between donors in pro-angiogenic capabilities it also highlights the challenges with interpreting large data sets. The feasibility of using a microcapillary film (MCF) based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detected two relevant cytokines, IL-8 and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was investigated. Following on from this work the development of a combined MCF ELISA assay with hMSC cell culture to produce a fully closed cell screening system was initiated. It was shown that it was feasible to measure IL-8 and HGF using the MCF ELISA platform but further work would need to be done to make the system more compatible with the manufacturing environment. In order to adapt the MCF to also be an hMSC culture platform the first challenge was to functionalise the Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP) surface of the MCF. It was concluded that a poly (vinyl- alcohol) (PVA) and gelatin mixture produced a homogenous coating to which a consistent level of hMSC would attach. This work was carried out on a flat surface; therefore steps were taken to adapt this knowledge into the MCF, while there was evidence of hMSCs present inside the MCF more work will need to be done to bring this concept to an established platform.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Loughboough University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Human mesenchymal stem cells ; Cell therapies ; Bioanalytics ; Microfluidics