High-throughput 3D screening for differentiation of hPSC-derived cell therapy candidates

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Science Advances  07 Aug 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 32, eaaz1457
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz1457


The emergence of several cell therapy candidates in the clinic is an encouraging sign for human diseases/disorders that currently have no effective treatment; however, scalable production of these cell therapies has become a bottleneck. To overcome this barrier, three-dimensional (3D) cell culture strategies have been considered for enhanced cell production. Here, we demonstrate a high-throughput 3D culture platform used to systematically screen 1200 culture conditions with varying doses, durations, dynamics, and combinations of signaling cues to derive oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and midbrain dopaminergic neurons from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Statistical models of the robust dataset reveal previously unidentified patterns about cell competence to Wnt, retinoic acid, and sonic hedgehog signals, and their interactions, which may offer insights into the combinatorial roles these signals play in human central nervous system development. These insights can be harnessed to optimize production of hPSC-derived cell replacement therapies for a range of neurological indications.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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