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Thomas Schnibbe, Speaker at Dermatology Conferences
CELLnTEC Advanced Cell Systems, Switzerland
Title : Next generation designer culture media for cell therapy balancing energy homeostasis and proliferative capacities enabling long-term in vitro expansion of epithelial cells


Since inception, CELLnTEC is dedicated to developing fully defined, animal- and human component-free media to culture epithelial cells for research and cell therapy that closely mimic the in vivo state. This is achieved by protecting the ground state of cellular self-renewal with extrinsic and selective small molecule activators or inhibitors. Withdrawal of these factors supports differentiation. We have now continued R&D to engineer the next generation of designer media by specifically targeting pathways balancing energy homeostasis and proliferative capacities. Compared to our standard media, the new proprietary medium supports human keratinocyte growth in a superior way as was tested for cells from four different donors grown on plastic and without feeders. Remarkably, survival of the human keratinocytes could be extended up to >90 population doublings. Starting from fresh adult skin, cells in P0 exhibited impeccable morphology and increased colony forming efficiency. The latter was tested in a direct comparison with our own standard media and those of other leading commercial providers. In P1, the human keratinocytes plated in the new medium showed oexcellent colony forming efficiency, outcompeting all other tested media by at least 1.5-fold. Superior isolation efficiency together with increased proliferation rates and especially extended longevity allows for rapid cell amplification, which likely also applies for epithelial airway, bladder, or cornea cells. Since the human keratinocytes are grown in a fully defined, animal component-free cell culture medium, they also are perfectly suited for applications in cell therapy and regenerative medicine.


Thomas Schnibbe is CEO of CELLnTEC Advanced Cell Systems, Switzerland, a pioneering developer and manufacturer of fully defined precision media for primary and stem cell research, and supplier to the regenerative medicine industry. Dr. Schnibbe obtained his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, and an MSc in Biotechnology from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, with study and research stays at the Technical University of Munich and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany, and Kyoto University, Japan. With more than 20 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, Dr. Schnibbe previously held senior positions in both business and technology development at QIAGEN, Chiron Corporation (now part of Novartis), and in technology consulting in Europe and the United States.