Last week I was asked to suggest the most pressing challenge for scientists industrialising the growth of cells, particularly stem cells. A step-change in scale will be essential in the next decade to deliver the promise of new cell therapies and facilitate widespread adoption, and indeed to tackle the monumental hurdles presented by the scale-up of cultivated meat and the nascent cellular agriculture field. What a great question! Will this core challenge be addressed by new bioreactor technologies, data analytics and process control to ensure homogeneity of cell products, or, being a growth factor company, is addressing protein stability and formulation issues critical? However, perhaps biased by on-going discussions at Qkine, I think reproducibility during scale-up will be the crux of it.
Undoubtedly, there will also be pivotal scientific discoveries and cell engineering advances that we can’t foresee and a big thanks goes to those of you working on these as we speak. I’ll post this on our Linkedin page as I’m keen to hear your opinions.
Catherine (CEO and Founder)
Growth factor quality is not just purity
When selecting a new growth factor for your research, the quality of the protein is likely to be a consideration. Most suppliers quote purities of >95% or 99% on their data sheet, however, how do you define purity for structurally complex proteins that must be correctly folded, and sometimes multimeric, to be fully bioactive? SDS-PAGE alone doesn’t tell the full story.
Read this article by the Qkine founder, Dr Marko Hyvönen, which discusses why quality isn’t all about purity.
The purity of Activin A by Qkine was compared with Activin A from alternative suppliers by SDS-PAGE.
BMP-4 has a complex biochemical structure. Special care and expertise is required to manufacture BMP-4 at high purity and with good lot consistency. Ensuring high bioactivity allows lower concentrations of growth factors to be used in media for cost-effective cell culture. To see how the bioactivity of animal-free BMP-4 from Qkine compares with alternative suppliers, please read our BMP-4 technote.
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Best supplier is @QkineBio. Cambridge Uni startup that supplies LIF to many stem cell labs there, including Austin Smith’s before move. I think the initial reagents all from Austin. We’ve tested batches in London & it’s excellent. Other good cytokines too (they don’t pay me!)
We now offer free worldwide shipping on all orders dispatched from our Cambridge headquarters. All Qkine orders are dispatched the same or next day and all our lyophilized products are sent in fully recyclable packaging.
We have expanded our network of local distribution partners to make it as easy as possible to purchase Qkine growth factors wherever you are working. Please visit our distributor page for a full list.
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