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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6810980, 14 pages
Research Article

Standardizing Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stromal Cells for Translation to Clinical Use: Selection of GMP-Compliant Medium and a Simplified Isolation Method

1The Midwest Institute for Comparative Stem Cell Biotechnology, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
2Institute of Bioprocess Engineering and Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Applied Sciences Mittelhessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany

Received 7 October 2015; Accepted 29 December 2015

Academic Editor: Shimon Slavin

Copyright © 2016 J. Robert Smith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stromal cells (UC-MSCs) are a focus for clinical translation but standardized methods for isolation and expansion are lacking. Previously we published isolation and expansion methods for UC-MSCs which presented challenges when considering good manufacturing practices (GMP) for clinical translation. Here, a new and more standardized method for isolation and expansion of UC-MSCs is described. The new method eliminates dissection of blood vessels and uses a closed-vessel dissociation following enzymatic digestion which reduces contamination risk and manipulation time. The new method produced >10 times more cells per cm of UC than our previous method. When biographical variables were compared, more UC-MSCs per gram were isolated after vaginal birth compared to Caesarian-section births, an unexpected result. UC-MSCs were expanded in medium enriched with 2%, 5%, or 10% pooled human platelet lysate (HPL) eliminating the xenogeneic serum components. When the HPL concentrations were compared, media supplemented with 10% HPL had the highest growth rate, smallest cells, and the most viable cells at passage. UC-MSCs grown in 10% HPL had surface marker expression typical of MSCs, high colony forming efficiency, and could undergo trilineage differentiation. The new protocol standardizes manufacturing of UC-MSCs and enables clinical translation.