Development of reduced serum-free media for MRC-5 and Vero cells using definitive screening design

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Urena Ramirez, Viridiana
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The purpose of this study was to rationally design animal component free, chemically defined serum free media (ACF-CD-SFM) for MRC-5 and Vero cells while adhering to the Quality by Design guidelines. This was achieved by using the Modified Vero Serum Free Medium (MVSFM) as the basal formulation and supplementing it with various combinations of growth factors (LONG® EGF, LONG® R3 IGF-I, rTransferrin, bFGF, TGF-3 and PDGF-AA), lipids (linoleic acid, cholesterol, and dexamethasone), lipid precursors (ethanolamine and phosphoethanolamine) and vitamins (all-trans retinoic acid, -tocopherol and ascorbic acid). Media development was achieved by conducting a series of steps using different experimental methodologies with the end goal of satisfying the requirements of each cell line. MRC-5 and Vero cells were each cultured in specific media containing unique concentrations of supplements that were prepared according to the different statistical design methodologies. The original objective was to create a SFM, however due to the stringent nutritious requirements of anchorage dependent cell lines, only a reduction to 0.5% FBS was achieved. For MRC-5 cells, the one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) generated the Prototype + 0.5% FBS medium. The Definitive Screening Design (DSD) gave rise to the Delta 1 + 0.5% FBS, which was the optimum medium formulation for MRC-5 cells as it had comparable cell yields to DMEM + 10 % FBS. This result was confirmed by the Genetic Algorithms-Hill Climbing (GA-HC) method. In the case of Vero cells, the OFAT and the DSD confirmed that MVSFM + 0.5 % FBS was the most optimal formulation. The morphology in both media for both cell lines was comparable to that in DMEM-10% FBS. It was concluded that the DSD method successfully achieved a reduction of the serum concentration from 10% to 0.5% FBS.
Serum-free media, Definitive Screening Design, cell culture