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Cell culture conditions

For peak proliferation outside the natural environment, cells need optimal physical and chemical conditions. Although conditions vary for different cell lines, a basic cell culture environment has cell culture media, including all necessary nutrients, and gases such as oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Bioreactor systems

Cell culture vessels are available in a diverse range of designs, including dishes, flasks, and bioreactors. Bioreactors provide a controlled artificial environment for cell culture to support efficient cell growth. These systems also support reproducibility of results and use with higher working volumes. The major types of bioreactors for process development and both non-GMP and GMP manufacturing are:

  • Stirred-tank bioreactor: Stirred-tank reactors (STRs) are the most common single-use bioreactor systems. They have one or more impellers that keep cells in suspension, as well as built-in mechanisms to control O2 and CO2 levels. Use these systems to scale up your bioprocesses from life sciences research to manufacturing scale. Microbial fermenters are similar vessels but are designed for growth of bacteria and other anaerobic organisms.
  • Rocking bioreactor: Single-use rocker bioreactors comprise a bag on a moving platform. They rely on a rocking motion for mixing and keeping cells in suspension. Since their working volume ranges from a few liters to 25 liters, rocking bioreactors are often used for seeding into larger stirred-tank bioreactors.
  • Fixed-bed bioreactor: Used for adherent cells, these models usually have carriers that provide a large surface area for attachment. The carriers are packed together to form a fixed bed.

Rocking bioreactor FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

How does a rocking bioreactor work?

Rocking bioreactors often have a motorized base that creates a gentle rocking motion to induce waves in the cell culture media for effective mixing and gas transfer for respiring cells. You can easily adjust the rocking angle and speed to match the needs of varying cell types. Built-in sensors enable monitoring of culture conditions such as temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen.

What are the parts of a rocking bioreactor system?

Here are the basic components:

  • A rocker system or base provides a rocking motion.
  • A central bioreactor control unit (CBCU) provides gas to the culture. It can also monitor the pH and dissolved oxygen.
  • Software automation provides built-in knowledge to plan, control, and analyze cell culture runs and results.
  • Bioreactor consumables and accessories include single-use bag bioreactor containers, PVC tubing, and mixer kits that help streamline bioprocesses.
What are the applications of a rocking motion bioreactor?

Rocking motion bioreactors support the culture of insect, plant, and mammalian cells including CHO cells. These versatile vessels can be used in: