MedCision is pleased to announce the collaborative publication of our new article “A Method to Optimize and Streamline Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Isolation, Cryopreservation, and Thawing published in BioProcess International last month” . The paper publishes data from Dr. Mars Stone, Staff Scientist at the Blood Systems Research Institute (BSRI). This new publication is a landmark for MedCision, in that it marks the first time an automated, water free system like the ThawSTAR® cell thawing system is independently validated for the isolation of PBMC’s intended for clinical and pre-clinical studies. 
When it comes to the realm of cellular therapy, the quality and efficacy of the drug product is intrinsically dependent on the methodology used to isolate the cells in question. Reproducibility is key, as it will directly affect the consistency of the product. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to periodically assess isolation protocols to see where they might be optimized to eliminate variability, and streamlined for greater efficiency.
In this new publication, Dr. Stone and her colleagues tested two different PBMC isolation methods, as well as two different cell thawing methods, for their cryopreserved cells. To isolate the PBMCs, the traditional method of using a Ficoll gradient was compared to a new method that uses Stemcell Technologies’ SepMateTM tubes. The tubes also rely on a density gradient, but are self-contained and capable of isolating cells more quickly than traditional methods.
To thaw cryopreserved PBMCs, Dr. Stone compared ThawSTAR to a traditional 37oC water bath. As our readers are no doubt aware, the ThawSTAR® cell thawing system is designed to reproduce the heating profile of a water bath, while reducing variability and the risk of contamination, due to its automated, water-free operation. Dr. Stone tested PBMC yield, viability, and leukocyte cell subset frequencies.
We are pleased to report that the ThawSTAR® cell thawing system performed admirably. Not only did this work validate ThawSTAR as a suitable substitute for a water bath in thawing cryopreserved PBMCs, but cells thawed with our automated system actually had higher mean viable cell recoveries, with lower vial-to-vial variability.
The authors pointed out that the availability of cryopreserved cells is often a prerequisite for cellular therapy treatment, and that bringing standardization to the way we thaw cells should be seen as just as important as standardizing the way we freeze cells. We wholeheartedly agree! For more details about the new BioProcess publication, please read more here.
 Stone M, et al. Maximizing PMBC Recovery and Viability: A Method to Optimize and Streamline Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Isolation, Cryopreservation, and Thawing. BioProcess International. April 2015.