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The AUTOSTEM platform concept was designed as a user-oriented, closed, automated system to provide an efficient pipeline for the delivery of large numbers of therapeutic cells (mesenchymal stromal cells or MSCs). The process starts with a bone marrow donation, taken from the hip bone of a donor using a novel suction device developed to improve the patients’ comfort and yield. The bone marrow can be transferred in a sterile manner into the AUTOSTEM production line, where a robotic arm supports the isolation of MSCs from the bone marrow. The production line also includes capacity for real-time process management, monitoring of cell quality and environment and maintenance of the bio-reactor.
The platform represents a fully equipped, automated laboratory which works in a completely environmentally controlled area and is capable of isolating and expanding MSCs autonomously in a full end-to-end, adaptive process. Its modular and highly integrated design combines state-of-the-art laboratory equipment with novel technological developments: The pipeline allows for close monitoring and control of production and environmental parameters and paves the way towards sophisticated production schemes that are adaptive to cell behaviour. In this way, the AUTOSTEM platform was built to deliver a significant advance towards the routine clinical application of cell therapies in the future.