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Technology

The Problem with Traditional Culture Cell

All traditional bioreactors have one thing in common. Cells grow in the liquid nutrient medium which is also the means by which dissolved oxygen is transported to the cell surface. Air/ CO2 is dissolved in the medium by bubbling the gas into it followed by stirring or rocking of the medium to aid in its diffusion to the cells. The oxygen which is known to have a poor solubility in the medium is rapidly depleted as the cell density rises, resulting in apoptosis, an eventual “crash” or death of the culture. To prevent this, the bubbling, stirring or rocking rates are all increased over time to increase oxygen delivery. Unfortunately, these actions cause an increase in shear rates that fragile mammalian cells cannot handle. In perfusion systems like hollow fibers rate of media exchange is increased to enhance oxygen transport. This leads to direct increase in media consumption, and increased cost of goods.

The Breakthrough Solution

In the Express® Bioreactor, the feeding and the oxygen transport are decoupled. The very porous honey- combed matrix is constantly exposed to air/ CO2 and provides a large surface area for a large population of cells to grow on mimicking a “lung” with superior gas exchange abilities. Fresh media is constantly dripped on to the matrix and allowed to wick through the matrix to the cell surface. Product and waste metabolites are constantly removed while the cells are growing only a thin layer of medium away from O2. This unique design can thus support high cell density, high oxygen availability and nutrient exchange while continuously removing product and deleterious waste metabolites from the cells with zero shear. Surface treatment of this biocompatible matrix assures growth of conventional suspension cells as well as difficult to grow attachment cells. Hybridomas, HEK 293, CHO fungal, yeast and insect cells have all been grown in the Express® Bioreactor.

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