Large-scale expansion of mammalian neural stem cells: a review


DOI: 10.1007/BF02348431

Cite this article as:
Kallos, M.S., Sen, A. & Behie, L.A. Med. Biol. Eng. Comput. (2003) 41: 271. doi:10.1007/BF02348431


A relatively new approach to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases is the direct use of neural stem cells (NSCs) as therapeutic agents. The expected demand for treatment from the millions of afflicted individuals, coupled with the expected demand from biotechnology companies creating therapies, has fuelled the need to develop large-scale culture methods for these cells. The rapid pace of discovery in this area has been assisted through the use of animal model systems, enabling many experiments to be performed quickly and effectively. This review focuses on recent developments in expanding human and murine NSCs on a large scale, including the development of new serum-free media and bioreactor protocols. In particular, engineering studies that characterise important scale-up parameters are examined, including studies examining the effects of long-term culture of NSCs in suspension bioreactors. In addition, recent advances in the human NSC system are reviewed, including techniques for the evaluation of NSC characteristics.


Central nervous systemCell therapyNeural stem cellsBioreactorScale-upCell expansion

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© IFMBE 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pharmaceutical Production Research Facility, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada