Large Scale Expansion of Human Umbilical Cord Cells in a Rotating Bed System Bioreactor for Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Applications

Anne Reichardt1, Bianca Polchow1, Mehdi Shakibaei2, Wolfgang Henrich3, Roland Hetzer1, Cora Lueders1, *
1 Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery and Laboratory for Tissue Engineering, German Heart Institute Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany
2 Anatomische Anstalt, Lehrstuhl I, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Pettenkoferstraße 11, 80336 München, Germany
3 Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Klinik für Geburtsmedizin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 2776
Abstract HTML Views: 1170
PDF Downloads: 260
Total Views/Downloads: 4206
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 878
Abstract HTML Views: 598
PDF Downloads: 175
Total Views/Downloads: 1651

© Reichardt et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Laboratory for Tissue Engineering, German Heart Institute Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, Berlin D-13353, Germany; Tel: + 49 30 4593 2164; Fax: + 49 30 4593 2165; E-mail:


Widespread use of human umbilical cord cells for cardiovascular tissue engineering requires production of large numbers of well-characterized cells under controlled conditions. In current research projects, the expansion of cells to be used to create a tissue construct is usually performed in static cell culture systems which are, however, often not satisfactory due to limitations in nutrient and oxygen supply. To overcome these limitations dynamic cell expansion in bioreactor systems under controllable conditions could be an important tool providing continuous perfusion for the generation of large numbers of viable pre-conditioned cells in a short time period. For this purpose cells derived from human umbilical cord arteries were expanded in a rotating bed system bioreactor for up to 9 days. For a comparative study, cells were cultivated under static conditions in standard culture devices.

Our results demonstrated that the microenvironment in the perfusion bioreactor was more favorable than that of the standard cell culture flasks. Data suggested that cells in the bioreactor expanded 39 fold (38.7 ± 6.1 fold) in comparison to statically cultured cells (31.8 ± 3.0 fold). Large-scale production of cells in the bioreactor resulted in more than 3 x 108 cells from a single umbilical cord fragment within 9 days. Furthermore cell doubling time was lower in the bioreactor system and production of extracellular matrix components was higher. With this study, we present an appropriate method to expand human umbilical cord artery derived cells with high cellular proliferation rates in a well-defined bioreactor system under GMP conditions.

Keywords: Cardiovascular tissue engineering, cell culture conditions, cell expansion, GMP, human umbilical cord cells, perfusion bioreactor, rotating bed bioreactor..