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Alginate-Encapsulation for the Improved Hypothermic Preservation of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stephen Swioklo, Dr Andrei Constantinescu, Professor Che ConnonORCiD



Despite considerable progress within the cell therapy industry, unmet bioprocessing and logistical challenges associated with the storage and distribution of cells between sites of manufacture and the clinic exist. We examined whether hypothermic (4°C–23°C) preservation of human adipose-derived stem cells could be improved through their encapsulation in 1.2% calcium alginate. Alginate encapsulation improved the recovery of viable cells after 72 hours of storage. Viable cell recovery was highly temperature dependent, with an optimum temperature of 15°C. At this temperature, alginate encapsulation preserved the ability for recovered cells to attach to tissue culture plastic on rewarming, further increasing its effect on total cell recovery. On attachment, the cells were phenotypically normal, displayed normal growth kinetics, and maintained their capacity for trilineage differentiation. The number of cells encapsulated (up to 2 Å~106 cells per milliliter) did not affect viable cell recovery nor did storage of encapsulated cells in a xenofree, serum-free, current Good Manufacturing Practice-grade medium. We present a simple, low-cost system capable of enhancing the preservation of human adipose-derived stem cells stored at hypothermic temperatures, while maintaining their normal function. The storage of cells in this manner has great potential for extending the time windows for quality assurance and efficacy testing, distribution between the sites of manufacture and the clinic, and reducing the wastage associated with the limited shelf life of cells stored in their liquid state.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Swioklo S, Constantinescu A, Connon CJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: STEM CELLS Translational Medicine

Year: 2016

Volume: 5

Issue: 3

Pages: 339-349

Print publication date: 01/03/2016

Online publication date: 29/01/2016

Acceptance date: 16/12/2015

Date deposited: 02/02/2016

ISSN (print): 2157-6564

ISSN (electronic): 2157-6580

Publisher: AlphaMed Press, Inc.


DOI: 10.5966/sctm.2015-0131

PubMed id: 26826163


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Funder referenceFunder name
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
BB\K011111\1Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council as part of a Bioprocessing Research Industry-enabled grant
CDE38047Defence Science and Technology Laboratory