In vitro tissue culture has been based almost solely on the 2D cultivation of cell monolayers in cell culture dishes or flasks. Although conventional cultures are easy to handle and can be managed at low expenditure, the in vitro simulation of organ like conditions is not sufficient: it is the lack of three-dimensional structures and of physiological cell matrix interactions that directs the cell metabolism and gene expression towards a non desired differentiation state.
The StemCell Systems bioreactors address these problems and enable co-culturing of different cell populations at a higher density and in 3D formation of organ-like cell aggregations. They also allow the cells to produce bio-matrix in the neo-tissues.
StemCell Systems' technology platforms provide innovative solutions for high density, three-dimensional cell culture methods. Human tissues are characterized consisting of different cell types embedded in a specific and highly organized three-dimensional extra-cellular matrix. Blood stream derived fluid exchange enables high performance mass exchange with oxygenation and avoids large substrate gradients. Growth factors/ mediators produced systemically/locally stimulate cells to react specifically according to their physiological tasks in the tissue unit. Maintenance of stem cells in the tissue and differentiation of mature cells for organ function is dependent on such conditions.
StemCell Systems' proprietary technologies serve as a basis for the construction of bioreactors with respective control systems, as well as research and application services.
StemCell Systems' proprietary bioreactor technology platforms relate to
in vitro cell culture systems, associated perfusion devices and circuitry; for:
- Industrial production of human stem cells, for therapeutic applications in medicine - stem cells that can not be cultured using more simple culture techniques;
- Industrial production of growth factors and mediators that are products of stem cells - that can not be cultured using more simple techniques;
- Clinical use of stem cells in an extracorporeal hybrid bio-artificial organ, for organ support with a bioreactor, e.g. as temporary extracorporeal liver support system.
The current stem cell biology knowledge and culture techniques advance dramatically. Innovations in regenerative medicine research base on the use of stem cells, for therapeutic transplantation or for production of growth factors and mediators than can be used therapeutically. However, the in vitro culture of stem cells is challenging as these cells typically require a very complex environment, that mimicks the so called "stem cell niche" in the human body, where these cells normally reside and find a complex three-dimensional (3D) supporting environment. Conventional 2D culture techniques can not be scaled-up and current bioreactors on the market can not meet requirements for larger scale systems as well.
StemCell Systems developed proprietary technology platforms to address these problems.
Our bioreactors base on:
Currently, StemCell Systems produces prototypes and a series of small scale hollow fiber bioreactor systems, along with the necessary pump and control devices. Our range of bioreactors contain a 0.5 ml up to 800 to ml cell compartments.
- Four-compartmentalization of the culture space,
- Three independent hollow-fiber capillary membrane bundle technology for high-performance but decentral mass exchange in the cell compartment,
- Arterial and venous-like medium supply with medium flow and integrated oxygenation / CO2 removal in the cell compartment,
- 3D perfusion of medium around the cells
- Low metabolite gradients around the cells,
- A dynamic medium supply, rather than static conditions,
- No waste accumulation avoiding toxic gradients,
- Optional stem cell niche biomatrix cell embedding,
- Optional co-culture of various stem cell niche supporting cells.
In terms of possible applications, our products and those still in the pipeline can be divided in three distinct product families:
One of the company's key areas of activity targeting medical therapies is a hybrid liver support system with primary human cells to treat patients with acute liver failure. This is described under a separate menu point (see "Products").
- Bioreactor systems for medical therapies with cells;
- Bench top bioreactor systems for the production of therapeutic and diagnostic substances using primary cells;
- Bioreactor systems for laboratory research and analytical purposes (cell-biology, pharmaceutical industry);
Detailed product information and scientific publications are available upon request.
Business Communications Company, Inc.; B-119/ Cell Therapy and Tissue Engineering: Emerging Products (www.prgguide.com)
Anna Crull/Jones, Buscom:
"Innovative research has led to the commercialization of new products (... in the rapidly growing and changing biotechnology field). In a short period of time, competing bioreactor equipment to manufacture developing products has emerged ... some of it has created its own market niche.
The bioreactor market has now gotten over the hype of alternative technologies. One now sees specific technologies firmly established for specific end uses. There are also a host of emerging uses for bioreactor technology ... As research turns into commercialization, the bioreactor market should certainly be watched for potential dramatic growth. However, even in this pre-commercialization stage, the great demand for cost efficient research materials has created niches within the bioreactor market. ...
Bioreactors have become a much more accepted part of bioremediation. ... There is also important bioreactor research going on in the tissue engineering field. The commercialization of tissue engineering will probably mean a significant new use for bioreactor technology." (www.buscom.com/biotech/C-086R.html)
Frost & Sullivan: U.S. Cell Therapy Markets:
"...a burgeoning number of products newly introduced or being developed through the overlapping technologies of cell therapy and tissue engineering. These products target virtually every organ system of the body and many of the major ills that afflict mankind ... their market potential is enormous ... a reasonably large portion of that potential is likely to be realized within the next decade." (www.prgguide.com)