The application of stem cells in medicine requires the availability of sufficient cells from culture. A critical material aspect of such cultures is the substrate that carries the growing cells. The substrate should foster the proliferation of viable cells, be compatible with bioreactors for stem cell production, enable the release of the cells without damage, and remain stable over long cultivation periods. This symposium will discuss all materials that are used for such substrates, the modification of their surfaces, their effect on cell growth and stem cell cultivation, interactions of the material with fluids and walls in the reactor, and all other related issues.
Contributions will cover spherical carriers made from biogenic or synthetic polymers as they are used in stirred reactors, planar culture dishes with nano- and microstructured surfaces and new substrate concepts, e.g. based on bio-derived materials. Substrates with active release mechanisms, for example through temperature- or light-induced swelling, will be highlighted. The hydrodynamics and mechanics of interactions between cells, culture media, and substrates will be discussed in order to understand the requirements for materials employed in realistic production conditions.
Cell biologists studying the reaction of cells on different culture media are invited to share their insights with the material scientists working on the substrates. Both ex situ and in situ techniques for the analysis of growing cells during culturing that help to improve the substrate materials are of particular interest.