Scaffolds or matrices based on extracellular matrix (ECM)-inspired biomaterials play a central role in the repair of tissue damage. Cell matrices can optimise the physiologically relevant 3D microenvironment of the cells and prevent graft cell death.
Autologous or allogeneic cell therapies have the potential to treat a broad range of unmet medical needs. For the commercialisation of cell therapy products, it is important to develop scalable, safe, and efficient manufacturing processes for the production of the required cell numbers. Since there is a high clinical demand for robust, large-scale cell production with reproducible quality, microcarrier culture is a common and essential technology applied in cell-based therapies.
Microcarriers provide an attractive tool to expand cells in a 3D microenvironment as they provide a higher cell culture surface area, as well as a closer mimic to the in vivo situation in comparison with classical 2D cell culturing methods. Anchorage dependent cells need a physiologically relevant 3D microenvironment for optimal cell viability, morphology, and proliferation.
Cell harvesting is considered one of the main obstacles of using microcarriers. Cell harvesting can be avoided with Fujifilm’s new injectable microcarrier. Cell-loaded microcarriers have the unique advantage of being a cell delivery system to damaged or degenerated tissue for repair and restoration of function. Moreover, injection of cells together with the biomaterial enhances cell survival, as the cells are already adhered to an ECM-like biomaterial while entering the hostile environment. Injection of cells without microcarrier often leads to poor cell survival as cells do not immediately attach to the ECM.