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Keywords:

  • bioreactor with wave-induced motion;
  • flow parameter measurements;
  • flow characterization;
  • shear stress

Abstract

Quantifying the influence of flow conditions on cell viability is essential for a successful control of cell growth and cell damage in major biotechnological applications, such as in recombinant protein and antibody production or vaccine manufacturing. In the last decade, new bioreactor types have been developed. In particular, bioreactors with wave-induced motion show interesting properties (e.g., disposable bags suitable for cGMP manufacturing, no requirement for cleaning and sterilization of cultivation vessels, and fast setup of new production lines) and are considered in this study. As an additional advantage, it is expected that cultivations in such bioreactors result in lower shear stress compared with conventional stirred tanks. As a consequence, cell damage would be reduced as cell viability is highly sensitive to hydrodynamic conditions. To check these assumptions, an experimental setup was developed to measure the most important flow parameters (liquid surface level, liquid velocity, and liquid and wall shear stress) in two cellbag sizes (2 and 20 L) of Wave Bioreactors®. The measurements confirm in particular low shear stress values in both cellbags, indicating favorable hydrodynamic conditions for cell cultivation. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2011