Neural stem/progenitor cells (NS/PCs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are expected to be a valuable cell source for cell therapies that target central nervous system disorders. For clinical applications, NS/PCs should be induced and maintained under clinical grade conditions, which are challenging to achieve. In the present study, we established a procedure to obtain xeno-free long-term self-renewing neuroepithelial-like stem cells (xf-lt-NES cells) from feeder-free hiPSCs using a newly developed xeno-free medium, StemFit®AS200. xf-lt-NES cells were cultured for long periods in StemFit®AS200 while retaining normal karyotypes, NS/PC marker expression and differentiation capacity for neuronal and glial differentiation in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the cells were cryopreserved using a defined serum-free freezing reagent, which demonstrated the feasibility of this xeno-free culture system for large-scale lt-NES cell production and cell banking. Taken together, our system represents a promising approach for the manufacture of clinically relevant products for cell therapy using NS/PCs.
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