Most clinical applications of human multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) for cell therapy, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and treatment of immune and inflammatory diseases require a phase of isolation and ex vivo expansion allowing a clinically meaningful cell number to be reached. Conditions used for cell isolation and expansion should meet strict quality and safety requirements. This is particularly true for the growth medium used for MSC isolation and expansion. Basal growth media used for MSC expansion are supplemented with multiple nutrients and growth factors. Fetal bovine serum (FBS) has long been the gold standard medium supplement for laboratory-scale MSC culture. However, FBS has a poorly characterized composition and poses risk factors, as it may be a source of xenogenic antigens and zoonotic infections. FBS has therefore become undesirable as a growth medium supplement for isolating and expanding MSCs for human therapy protocols. In recent years, human blood materials, and most particularly lysates and releasates of platelet concentrates have emerged as efficient medium supplements for isolating and expanding MSCs from various origins. This review analyzes the advantages and limits of using human platelet materials as medium supplements for MSC isolation and expansion. We present the modes of production of allogeneic and autologous platelet concentrates, measures taken to ensure optimal pathogen safety profiles, and methods of preparing PLs for MSC expansion. We also discuss the supply of such blood preparations. Produced under optimal conditions of standardization and safety, human platelet materials can become the future 'gold standard' supplement for ex vivo production of MSCs for translational medicine and cell therapy applications.
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