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The University of Tokyo succeeds in achieving the world’s highest level of ultra-high density in human iPS undifferentiated cell culture, reducing the culture cost per cell to 1/8 | Today Nation News

TechnologyThe University of Tokyo succeeds in achieving the world's...

On November 22, the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Engineering developed a unique system for culturing iPS cells at ultra-high density in an undifferentiated state (before differentiating into cells with specific functions), and the culture cost was 1 Announced that it could be reduced to / 8. By enabling eight-fold growth without changing the amount of growth factors (proteins that promote growth), the density was 32 million cells per ml, the highest in the world.

A research group consisting of Professor Yasuyuki Sakai of the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Engineering has developed a small-scale culture system that reduces the cost of undifferentiated proliferation of human iPS cells to 1/8 in collaboration with Kaneka and Nissan Chemical Industries. .. It has two upper and lower spaces separated by a dialysis membrane, and cells are cultured on the upper part. Growth factors are stored there, but nutrients and waste products can move to and from the bottom. By adding polysaccharides here, the growth density could be increased eight times as much as before.

Although iPS cells are highly expected in regenerative medicine, the high price of growth factors is a bottleneck for the mass proliferation of undifferentiated cells. Research into replacing growth factors with small molecule compounds is also underway, but has not yet reduced costs. Although culture engineering methods using dialysis membranes have been studied, the growth density was low and cost reduction was not realized.

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The research group’s system is structured to make full use of expensive growth factors. Furthermore, as a result of the experiment, a phenomenon was observed in which the concentration of the growth factor “Nordal” secreted by the iPS cells themselves increased with culture as “a manifestation of self-organizing ability” from the iPS cells. It is believed that this led to a large amount of cell culture.

The University of Tokyo succeeds in achieving the world's highest level of ultra-high density in human iPS undifferentiated cell culture, reducing the culture cost per cell to 1/8

The research group thinks that scale-up is necessary because the capacity of the cell culture part of this system is as small as about 2 ml, but the size of the system has been reduced to about 1/10 by increasing the growth density by 8 times. It is possible to reduce the size. In the future, we will continue to increase the density, and we will also investigate whether this method works effectively for inducing differentiation into organ cells, which costs several tens of times more than the proliferation of undifferentiated cells. Although it has not been announced yet, it has succeeded in reducing the amount of growth factors used to about 1/8 in the first stage of liver and islet differentiation (endoderm differentiation).

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