Student Profile

Steven Ruck

The expansion and recovery of human mesenchymal stem cells in disposable bioreactor platforms. 

PhD Supervisor(s):Karen Coopman; Alvin Nienow.


PhD Summary

Regenerative medicine technologies have the potential to revolutionise human healthcare. However, whilst science has revealed the potential, and early products have shown the power of such therpaies, there is now a need for the long-term supply of human stem cells in sufficient numbers to create reproducible and cost effective therapeutic products. The industrial platforms to be developed for human cell culture are in some ways analogous to those already developed for biopharmaceutical production using mammalian cells at large scales. However, there are a number of unique challenges that need to be addressed, largely because of the quality of the cell is paramount, rather than the proteins that they express. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are a promising candidate for cell therapies due to their therapeutic efficacy, resulting in significant interest in their in vitro expansion. However, key issues must be addressed before hMSCs can be utilisied routinely in the clinic. Amongst them is the need to reproducibly obtain a clinically relevant quantity and quality of MSCs, which can only be achieved by identifying appropriate large-scale culture methods for stem cells.

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