Tissue-specific human neural precursor cells (hNPCs) can be isolated from various regions of the developing or adult central nervous system and may serve as a viable source of cells in cell replacement therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. However, in order for cell replacement strategies to become a routine therapeutic option for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, hNPCs should be generated under standardized and controlled conditions. Studies over the last two decades have focused on developing cell growth media and cell handling protocols for expansion and differentiation of hNPCs in culture. Key studies have reported the development of serum-free growth media and large-scale computer-controlled suspension bioreactors that can support high cell proliferation rates (doubling times < 3 days), multipotentiality, and potential neurogenic differentiation (more than 60% neurons). Moreover, bioengineering studies have focused on controlling culture conditions in suspension bioreactors including inoculation, hydrodynamics of culture, oxygen and nutrients transfer to the cells, monitoring in situ physiological parameters using process control techniques, and expansion for extended periods of time. In addition, in vitro and in vivo characterization of hNPCs have been performed, providing information on stem/progenitor cell characteristics, cell surface analysis, and appropriate type of cells to use in transplantation studies.
Keywords: Bioreactor expansion, neurodegenerative disorders, cell therapy, neurogenic differentiation, long term expansion, neural precursor cells, Pluripotent stem cells, Non-Engineered Cells, Engineered cells, Isolation
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Published on: 01 March, 2012
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