Fetal bovine serum (FBS) is used historically for in-vitro cell growth. However, its use as well as that of other animal derivatives for the ex-vivo expansion of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) has been discouraged by the authorities to reduce the risk of transmission of prions and other zoonosis and to avoid possible immune reactions in the host.
Human platelets collected from donation are very rich in growth factors; these factors can be released from the platelets after appropriate physical or physiological treatments in order to obtain the so-called "platelet lysate".
The platelet lysate was then proposed as an alternative to animal serum for the ex-vivo expansion of MSC with excellent results as the bioactive molecules and growth factors contained in the platelet lysate support the expansion of MSC.
MSC produced in culture medium enriched with platelet lysate have been used to treat patients with GvHD and patients with orthopedic disorders. Thus, the isolation and expansion of MSC in conditions free from animal sera using the platelet lysate represents an alternative.
The release of platelet growth factors can be achieved by repeated freezing and thawing cycles of platelet-rich plasma obtained from platelet apheresis or from the buffy coat or by platelet activation or sonication.
Our laboratory has been active for many years in the production and functional characterization of this bioproduct.