Mar. 15, 2018

DIC Develops Cepallet™ Series of Cell Detachment-Enhancing Cell Culture Containers

Tokyo, Japan–DIC Corporation announced today the development of the Cepallet™ series of cell detachment-enhancing cell culture containers, the outcome of a project undertaken with the aim of minimizing damage to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) and embryonic stem (ES) cells during cell recovery. The containers represent a practical application of the results of research conducted in collaboration with Associate Professor Hirofumi Suemori of Kyoto University’s Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences and Masato Nakagawa, lecturer at Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Research and Application (CiRA). The newly developed containers, which capitalize on DIC’s exclusive synthesis and coating technologies, minimize damage to cultured cells during recovery, improving cell survival rates and the efficiency of recovery.

Cepallet™ cell culture containersCepallet™ cell culture containers 

iPS and ES cells, which hold promise in such fields as regenerative medicine and drug discovery, continue to attract attention worldwide. Related research thus continues to gain momentum. Demand for the culture of high-quality cells for use in research is driving the need for sophisticated iPS and ES cell culture techniques. 

Conventional cell cultivation begins with the attachment of maintaining adherent cells in culture to a growth surface—usually the base of a plastic dish or the wells in a microwell plate—that has been coated with an extraceller matrix. A culture medium provides nutrients necessary for cell growth. Commonly, proliferating human iPS/ES cells are rigidly attached to cell substrates. Because of this feature, it is essential to treat cells by dissociation reagents to harvest cells. However, the cell harvesting efficiency is relatively low and, the treatment potentially causes cell damages (Figure 1). However, enzyme treatment and scraping can damage the cells, lowering survival rates. Therefore, it is important to develop a novel culture containers that capable of gentle cell dissociation for avoiding the cell damages.

Figure 1 Conventional enzyme treatmentFigure 1 Conventional enzyme treatment 

The base of DIC’s newly developed cell culture containers is coated with a proprietary thermosensitive polymer that shows hydrophobic–hydrophilic transition upon cooling to certain temperature (transition temperature) using nanolevel coating technology. As a consequence, replacing the culture medium—which at 37º C is close to human body temperature—after culturing with fresh, cold (below room temperature) medium encourages cells to detach from the base (thermosensitive release), thereby minimizing damage to cells during recovery (Figure 2). 

With thermosensitive release, cells remain attached to each other, detaching from the substrate in a cluster. In cases where single cell detachment is sought, an enzyme treatment can be used instead to separate cells, making it possible to recover individual cells without using a scraper (Figure 3).

Figure 2 Thermosensitive release using a Cepallet™ cell culture containerFigure 2 Thermosensitive release using a Cepallet™ cell culture container

Figure 3 Enzyme release using a Cepallet™ cell culture container 
Figure 3 Enzyme release using a Cepallet™ cell culture container 

The creation of next-generation businesses is a central component of the basic business strategy outlined in DIC’s current basic medium-term management plan, DIC108, which concludes in fiscal year 2018. Healthcare is a crucial target of efforts to create such businesses. Beginning with Cepallet™, the Company is working to leverage multiple strengths realized through the integrated management of its technical and R&D departments to create business models that position it optimally to address social imperatives in this area.



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