Gain Better Control of your Cell Culture Conditions

Technology for Sustained Delivery of Recombinant Proteins

Production of large quantities of homogeneous cells requires precise orchestration of culture conditions, including the concentration, sequence and timing of growth factors and cytokines that regulate proliferation and differentiation.

Whether you need to maintain the pluripotency of stem cells and iPSCs or guide preferential differentiation, maintaining the desired level of growth factors and cytokines can be time consuming and labor intensive. The inherent nature of these proteins adds to the challenge. They are highly labile, each with a different half-life, and when added to the culture, their concentrations peak and then rapidly decline, altering the ratio of factors and the pattern of cell signaling. When the proteins are replenished, levels are elevated once again. This roller coaster of concentrations can lead to a heterogenous cell population, the opposite of what is needed.

We are solving this problem.


Biodegradable StemBeads® are encapsulated proteins that provide a controlled release over the course of one week and integrate directly with the cell culture.

DISC™ Devices

DISC™ devices are made of an inert, non-degradable biocompatible material and contain biodegradable StemBeads® loaded with one or more growth factors or cytokines. The beads slowly break down to release the encapsulation protein at a controlled rate, reducing the need for medium changes.

Placed directly into the cell culture vessel, the DISC™ devices enable control of the concentrations, combinations and ratios of growth factors and cytokines, creating more physiologically relevant conditions for cells. DISCs™ can contain multiple microbeads with different growth factors or cytokines and at different concentrations. DISC™ devices do not degrade and can be easily added or removed from the culture vessel.

Which is Best for your Application?

  • Both StemBeads® and DISCs™ provide stable, defined growth factor levels in any media for more than one week.
  • StemBeads® are a flexible platform, enabling you provide controlled levels of a variety of growth factors to any media in any culture format.
  • DISCs™ provide a defined level of growth factors tailored for specific culture formats such as 6-well plates or bioreactors. The DISCs™ can be easily added or removed from culture, enabling precise control of growth factor levels over time.

Improved Control of Culture Conditions

Delivery of FGF2 to iPSC cultures via a DISC™ device results in a steady level of the growth factor while the traditional daily media changes led to wide swings in FGF2 concentration. By enabling greater control over growth factor or cytokine levels during the culture period, a more rational approach to optimization of manufacturing processes can be applied.FGF2 delivered by an FGF2 DISC™ over 7 days (A) compared to manual, daily replenishment of 100 ng/mL of soluble FGF2 via medium changes (B).

Enhance Pluripotency, Decrease Unwanted Differentiation

Use of the DISC™ device to deliver a steady state FGF2 to cultures of iPSCs results in tight cell colonies expressing pluripotency markers OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG (A) and normal karyotype (B). Flow analysis shows enhanced levels of pluripotency markers (SSEA-4) and a reduction in the level of the undesired marker SSEA-1, a cell surface protein involved in cell differentiation, as compared to manual, daily replenishment (C,D). 

iPSCs grown with an FGF2 DISC™ stain positive for pluripotency markers after 7 passages (A) and have a normal karyotype after 15 passages (B). iPSC cultures grown with daily medium changes compared to an FGF2 DISC™ for 7 passages express higher levels of pluripotency markers SSEA-4 (C) and lower levels of the differentiation marker SSEA-1 (D); via flow cytometry analysis (C,D). *p<0.1, **<0.05

Reduce Costly Media Consumption

The volume of media and the labor necessary to perform frequent media changes are key contributor to the cost associated with developing cell-based therapies. By reducing the number of media changes with DISC™ devices, a significant cost savings can be realized, especially for large-scale production. Fewer media changes also minimize the risk of contamination created by moving, handling and opening cell culture vessels.

Reducing the frequency of media changes in iPSC cultures results in substantial savings in time and media usage.