Prof. Cha gave an invited lecture at KTERMS

Prof. Cha was invited as a speaker to the 22nd Annual Meeting of Korean Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society (KTERMS) held on June 18-19, 2021 at HansBioMed, Seoul, Korea.

He gave a talk entitled "Preclinical study of stem cell spheroids for the application in spinal fusion surgery".  


Preclinical study of stem cell spheroids for the application in spinal fusion surgery

Jae Min Cha1,2, Inbo Han3

1 Department of Mechatronics Engineering, College of Engineering, Incheon National University, Incheon 22012, Republic of Korea

2 3D Stem Cell Bioengineering Laboratory, Research Institute for Engineering and Technology, Incheon National University, Incheon 22012, Republic of Korea

3 Department of Neurosurgery, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University, Gyeonggi-do 13496, Republic of Korea


The prevalence of degenerative spinal diseases, such as intervertebral disc degeneration and spinal stenosis, has risen sharply as the proportion of the global geriatric population is gradually increasing. Spinal fusion surgery is performed in cases of severe spinal stenosis, in which the intervertebral disc between the vertebrae is completely removed, a cage is inserted, and the two vertebrae are attached using pedicle screw fixation. Many bone graft and bone substitutes are being used clinically to promote spinal fusion. However, there are still many reports of nonunion that causes severe back pain after fusion surgery. In this preclinical study, we applied mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) spheroids to a mouse spinal fusion model. Large-scale production of the MSC-spheroids was achieved by using a commercially available and good manufacturing practice (GMP)-applicable microwell array culture system. The physical, biochemical, and therapeutic properties of the mass-produced MSC-spheroids were thoroughly tested by newly established quality control (QC) standards and corresponding assay methods with reference to the guidelines of domestically licensed stem cell therapeutics. Our preclinical findings showed that the mass-produced and quality-controlled MSC-spheroids were well-integrated into decorticated bone of the spine and efficiently improved bone regeneration and mechanical stability as assessed by micro-CT imaging, bone histomorphometry, histological/immunohistological analyses, and tensile strength testing. This study proposes a GMP-compliant bioprocessing platform and QC directions of MSC-spheroids, aiming to the clinical application of therapeutic MSC-spheroids and their application in spinal fusion surgery as a new bone graft substitute.