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1.  First steps towards the successful surface-based cultivation of human embryonic stem cells in hanging drop systems 
Engineering in Life Sciences  2012;12(6):584-587.
Miniaturization and parallelization of cell culture procedures are in focus of research in order to develop test platforms with low material consumption and increased standardization for toxicity and drug screenings. The cultivation in hanging drops (HDs) is a convenient and versatile tool for biological applications and represents an interesting model system for the screening applications due to its uniform shape, the advantageous gas supply, and the small volume. However, its application has so far been limited to non‐adherent and aggregate forming cells. Here, we describe for the first time the proof-of-principle regarding the adherent cultivation of human embryonic stem cells in HD. For this microcarriers were added to the droplet as dynamic cultivation surfaces resulting in a maintained pluripotency and proliferation capacity for 10 days. This enables the HD technique to be extended to the cultivation of adherence-dependent stem cells. Also, the possible automation of this method by implementation of liquid handling systems opens new possibilities for miniaturized screenings, the improvement of cultivation and differentiation conditions, and toxicity and drug development.
PMCID: PMC3588398  PMID: 23486530
Hanging drop; High-throughput screening; hESCs; Microcarrier
2.  Standardized Serum-Free Cryomedia Maintain Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Viability, Recovery, and Antigen-Specific T-Cell Response Compared to Fetal Calf Serum-Based Medium 
Biopreservation and Biobanking  2011;9(3):229-236.
The ability to analyze cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from biobanks for antigen-specific T-cell immunity is necessary to evaluate responses to immune-based therapies. Comprehensive studies have demonstrated that the quality of frozen PBMCs is critical and the maintenance of cell viability and functionality by using appropriate cryopreservation techniques is a key to the successful outcome of assays using PBMCs. Different cryomedia additives affect cell viability. The most common additive is fetal calf serum (FCS), although it is widely known that each FCS lot has to be tested before usage to prevent nonspecific stimulation of T-cells. Also, shipping of samples containing FCS is critical because of many import restrictions. Often, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is added as a cryoprotectant. However, DMSO concentration has to be reduced significantly because of its toxic effect on cells at room temperature. Therefore, we have developed freezing approaches to minimize cytotoxicity of cryoprotectants and maintain T-cell functionality. We compared different additives to the widely used FCS and found bovine serum albumin fraction V to be an appropriate substitute for the potentially immune-modulating FCS. We also found that DMSO concentration can be reduced by the addition of hydroxyethyl starch. Using our serum-free cryomedia, the PBMC recovery was more than 83% and the PBMC viability was more than 98%. Also, the T-cell functionality measured by enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) was optimal after cryopreservation with our new cryomedia. On the basis of our experimental results, we could finally design 2 different, fully working cryomedia that are standardized, serum free, and manufactured under GMP conditions.
PMCID: PMC3178417  PMID: 21977240

Results 1-2 (2)