TiO₂-doped phosphate glass microcarriers: a stable bioactive substrate for expansion of adherent mammalian cells

Joana C Guedes, Jeong-Hui Park, Nilay J Lakhkar, Hae-Won Kim, Jonathan C Knowles, Ivan B Wall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scalable expansion of cells for regenerative cell therapy or to produce large quantities for high-throughput screening remains a challenge for bioprocess engineers. Laboratory scale cell expansion using t-flasks requires frequent passaging that exposes cells to many poorly defined bioprocess forces that can cause damage or alter their phenotype. Microcarriers offer a potential solution to scalable production, lending themselves to cell culture processes more akin to fermentation, removing the need for frequent passaging throughout the expansion period. One main problem with microcarrier expansion, however, is the difficulty in harvesting cells at the end of the process. Therefore, therapies that rely on cell delivery using biomaterial scaffolds could benefit from a microcarrier expansion system whereby the cells and microcarriers are transplanted together. In the current study, we used bioactive glass microcarriers doped with 5% TiO₂ that display a controlled rate of degradation and conducted experiments to assess biocompatibility and growth of primary fibroblast cells as a model for cell therapy products. We found that the microcarriers are highly biocompatible and facilitate cell growth in a gradual controlled manner. Therefore, even without additional biofunctionalization methods, Ti-doped bioactive glass microcarriers offer potential as a cell expansion platform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page(http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).


  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fibroblasts/cytology
  • Glass
  • Materials Testing
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microspheres
  • Phosphates
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Tissue Scaffolds
  • Titanium


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