Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Kuraray Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Hitoshi Kawahara) has developed PVA hydrogel microcarriers* for cell cultures used in regenerative medicine. The product will be launched from January 2024 in Japan and overseas, beginning with the United States.
When our PVA hydrogel microcarriers are introduced into the bioreactor used for mass cell culture, cells adhere and proliferate on their surface, enabling the efficient detachment and recovery of the cells. Our microcarriers are resistant to damage even when stirred in bioreactors, have been verified for safety, and exhibit higher cell culture efficiency.
This newly developed product will be exhibited at Regenerative Medicine JAPAN, which will be held at the PACIFICO Yokohama from October 11 to 13, 2023.
* Microcarriers are microscopic cellular solidifiers. The material can be used for three-dimensional culturing by adhering cells on its surface in the culture solution.

1.Background of the Development

In recent years, mass cellular culture technologies have been garnering attention amid projections of an expanding market for regenerative medicine and biopharmaceuticals, including vaccines. Because existing microcarriers are mainly used in the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals, there are few products suitable for regenerative medicine applications, which require strict exclusion of foreign matter and proliferation of stem cells.

2.Characteristics of the Product

・High robustness and safety
Because the material is made of a highly elastic PVA hydrogel, they are not damaged even when vigorously stirred in a bioreactor and, as a result, do not generate microscopic fragments. It has cleared quality assurance and safety tests based on good manufacturing practices (GMPs: pharmaceutical manufacturing management and quality assurance standards).

・Highly efficient culture
The cells cultured on our PVA microcarriers exhibit high proliferation rates and can be recovered without enzyme treatment. Therefore, cells for regenerative medicine can be cultured more efficiently than with conventional microcarriers. In addition, because the PVA hydrogel absorbs culture medium and swells, providing a large surface area, the amount of microcarriers used can be reduced compared to polystyrene microcarriers.

・Excellent cell observability
Because the material is transparent and has a high rate of light transmission, it is easy to observe cells under a microscope.

Overview of Regenerative Medicine JAPAN

Name Regenerative Medicine JAPAN (
Dates October 11 (Wed) to 13 (Fri), 2023: 10:00–17:00
Location PACIFICO Yokohama Exhibition Hall, Annex Hall, North
Booth No. R-10