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Three-Dimensional Bioreactor Technologies for the Cocultivation of Human Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells and Beta Cells

: Petry, F.; Weidner, T.; Czermak, P.; Salzig, D.

Volltext ()

Stem Cells International. Online journal (2018), Art. 2547098, 14 S.
ISSN: 1687-9678
ISSN: 1687-966X
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IME ()

Diabetes is a prominent health problem caused by the failure of pancreatic beta cells. One therapeutic approach is the transplantation of functional beta cells, but it is difficult to generate sufficient beta cells in vitro and to ensure these cells remain viable at the transplantation site. Beta cells suffer from hypoxia, undergo apoptosis, or are attacked by the host immune system. Human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hMSCs) can improve the functionality and survival of beta cells in vivo and in vitro due to direct cell contact or the secretion of trophic factors. Current cocultivation concepts with beta cells are simple and cannot exploit the favorable properties of hMSCs. Beta cells need a three-dimensional (3D) environment to function correctly, and the cocultivation setup is therefore more complex. This review discusses 3D cultivation forms (aggregates, capsules, and carriers) for hMSCs and beta cells and strategies for large-scale cultivation. We have determined process parameters that must be balanced and considered for the cocultivation of hMSCs and beta cells, and we present several bioreactor setups that are suitable for such an innovative cocultivation approach. Bioprocess engineering of the cocultivation processes is necessary to achieve successful beta cell therapy.