Automation solutions for workflows in stem cell process engineering
For biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, the development of cell culture automation using innovative materials is a promising approach to optimize existing processes. By customized material characteristics, expansion and/or differentiation of human stem cells (the focus lies on human induced pluripotent stem cells, hiPSCs) should be positively influenced and automated solutions for the production for high-qualitative cells should be developed. These generated cells can then be used for the production of model systems for drug tests, toxicity studies or disease modelling, thus providing e. g., a major contribution to personalized medicine or the avoidance of animal experiments. The Fraunhofer Project Center for Stem Cell Process Engineering SPT (https://www.spt.fraunhofer.de/) is showing a functional suspension bioreactor on the basis of which existing protocols can be optimized and in which the newly developed stem cell processes can be carried out. Due to the possibility to cultivate anchorage-dependent stem cells on so called microcarriers, automation solutions for stem cells and material design can be combined by this cultivation system and process optimization is feasible. In the direct context of stem cell processes, further approaches of the Fraunhofer Project Center SPT in the fields of actuators, microfluidics, bioprinting, image analysis and analytics will be presented.