High-throughput miniaturized bioreactors for cell culture process development: Reproducibility, scalability, and control



Decreasing the timeframe for cell culture process development has been a key goal toward accelerating biopharmaceutical development. Advanced Microscale Bioreactors (ambr™) is an automated micro-bioreactor system with miniature single-use bioreactors with a 10–15 mL working volume controlled by an automated workstation. This system was compared to conventional bioreactor systems in terms of its performance for the production of a monoclonal antibody in a recombinant Chinese Hamster Ovary cell line. The miniaturized bioreactor system was found to produce cell culture profiles that matched across scales to 3 L, 15 L, and 200 L stirred tank bioreactors. The processes used in this article involve complex feed formulations, perturbations, and strict process control within the design space, which are in-line with processes used for commercial scale manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. Changes to important process parameters in ambr™ resulted in predictable cell growth, viability and titer changes, which were in good agreement to data from the conventional larger scale bioreactors. ambr™ was found to successfully reproduce variations in temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), and pH conditions similar to the larger bioreactor systems. Additionally, the miniature bioreactors were found to react well to perturbations in pH and DO through adjustments to the Proportional and Integral control loop. The data presented here demonstrates the utility of the ambr™ system as a high throughput system for cell culture process development. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 30:718–727, 2014