Recent advances in cell biology have created new approaches in cell therapy and regenerative medicine that are under investigation for the treatment of human diseases. While there is great potential for the development of new cell-based therapies, researchers must overcome a number of challenges to realize this potential, including reducing experimental variability and the risk of contamination from pathogens common to animal-sourced material.
In order to realize the promise of cell therapy, it will be necessary to culture specialized cell types (e.g., stem and primary cells) in defined, serum-free environments that include not only the culture medium, but also the growth surface.
A number of serum-, xeno-, and animal-free media formulations are commercially available. However, there have been limited commercial alternatives for animal-free, chemically defined growth surfaces that are compatible with these defined media formulations. Ultimately, it is recognized that scalable animal component-free cell culture surfaces will be essential for the translation of basic cell research into the clinic. These defined surfaces must support the production of cells that exhibit sufficient purity, expansion capability, and functional behavior in the target tissue.
To address this need, BD Biosciences has developed novel animal-free cultureware surfaces that enable the expansion of cells with therapeutic potential, including human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), endothelial progenitor cells, and primary keratinocytes. BD PureCoat™ ECM Mimetic Fibronectin Peptide (Fibronectin Mimetic) and Collagen Type I Peptide (Collagen I Mimetic) surfaces are coated with biologically active synthetic, animal-free peptides that provide a consistent alternative to complex extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins or native ECM-derived peptides.
The Fibronectin Mimetic surface is prepared using a synthetic peptide that contains the RGD amino acid motif, which supports the attachment of cells that require a fibronectin coating, including α5-integrin positive cells. This peptide is rationally designed to mimic cell attachment regions present in native fibronectin. The synthetic peptide is covalently immobilized on a proprietary surface and presented in a functionally active orientation. Our studies have shown that this surface is suitable for the growth and expansion of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in defined, xeno-free culture medium.