A chemically defined, xeno- and blood-free culture medium sustains increased production of small extracellular vesicles from mesenchymal stem cells.

Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. | doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2021.619930.

Cell therapy is witnessing a notable shift toward cell-free treatments based on paracrine factors, in particular, towards small extracellular vesicles (sEV), that mimic the functional effect of the parental cells. While numerous sEV-based applications are currently in advanced preclinical stages, their promised translation depends on overcoming the manufacturing hurdles posed by the large-scale production of purified sEV. Unquestionably, the culture medium used with the parental cells plays a key role in the sEV’s secretion rate and content. An essential requisite is the use of a serum-, xeno-, and blood-free medium to meet the regulatory entity requirements of clinical-grade sEV’s production. Here, we evaluated OxiumTMEXO, a regulatory complying medium, with respect to production capacity and conservation of the EV’s characteristics and functionality and the parental cell’s phenotype and viability. A comparative study was established with standard DMEM and a commercially available culture medium developed specifically for sEV production. Under similar conditions, OxiumTMEXO displayed a three-fold increase of sEV secretion, with an enrichment of particles ranging between 51 and 200 nm.