Figure 2A: Pall Allegro STR 200 bioreactor components

Design and Performance of Single-Use, Stirred-Tank Bioreactors

Single-use components and systems have been incorporated into many bioprocesses as an alternative to cleanable, reusable systems. A wide range of publications have detailed the reasons for this trend toward a single-use approach. Justification in many cases comes from process-specific benefits such as increased manufacturing flexibility — especially for contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) — enhanced sterility assurance, elimination of cleaning, reduced capital investment, faster processing times with increased productivity, faster start-up, and other benefits (1). One critical factor in the…

Application, Biostat STR 2000, STR 2000

Continuous Cell Culture Operation at 2,000-L Scale

In the biopharmaceutical industry, continuous manufacturing is often cited as a method for increasing the productivity of bioprocesses (1). Compared with batch processing, it has the potential to enable production of more product within a smaller facility footprint — while improving product quality, particularly for sensitive and unstable molecules. Investigation into continuous methods is taking place for both upstream and downstream operations. For the full benefit of continuous processing to be realized, an argument has been made that cell culture,…


Performance Qualification of a Single-Use, Stirred-Tank Bioreactor with CHO-S Cell Culture

The increasing role and importance of cell culture in biophamaceutical manufacturing has led to considerable research and development (R&D) into bioreactor design and performance in recent years. As a result, a greater understanding of bioreactor fluid dynamics and critical physical parameters is now essential to maximize cell growth and productivity. Stirred-tank bioreactors are especially important in this development process because of their favorable properties in areas such as mixing efficiency and homogeneity, energy transfer, and scalability. The design and manufacture…

2,000-L stainless steel bioreactor

Bioreactor Manufacturing Platforms for Cell Therapies

As an increasing number of cell therapies move into late-phase trials, developers are considering innovative solutions to address scale-up and commercialization challenges. Many of their questions focus on the technologies and engineering strategies that will be needed to optimize their processes, especially bioreactors. At the January 2016 Phacilitate Cell and Gene Therapy World conference, Siddharth Gupta, a scientist at Lonza (Walkersville, MD), talked about the effects of upstream process decisions on product quality in his presentation “Bioreactor Manufacturing Platforms: So…

Photo 1: Original disposable Aber Instruments biomass probe attached to light-weight preamplifier

Monitoring Live Biomass in Disposable Bioreactors

Often simply referred to as capacitance, radio-frequency (RF) impedance has been used for over two decades to measure online biomass. It is generally regarded as the most robust and reliable method to monitor live-cell concentrations in mammalian cell culture (1). Many biopharmaceutical companies have now made the transition from conventional glass or stainless steel multiuse (MU) vessels to single-use (SU) bioreactors. Disposables are rapidly becoming the preferred platform for new processes requiring current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) compliance. At the…

Figure 1: Contact-free measurement with chemical optical sensor

Using Optical Sensors for Bioprocess Monitoring: A Measurement Technique for Bioprocessors

Over the past decade, the application of chemical optical sensors for bioprocess monitoring has gradually taken roots. Constant further development of this measurement technology and the possibility to manufacture such sensors in various designs (even for single-use applications) have led to new state-of-the-art devices for the biotechnology sector. Chemical optical sensors enable in situ, real-time monitoring of important culture parameters without sampling and therefore without disturbing a culture. Implementing this technology can decrease workloads and deepen knowledge about bioprocesses. In…


Development, Qualification, and Application of a Bioreactor Scale-Down Process: Modeling Large-Scale Microcarrier Perfusion Cell Culture

Qualified scale-down models of large-scale cell culture processes are essential to conducting studies for applications such as investigating manufacturing deviations, enhancing process understanding, and improving process robustness. For example, scale-down models can be used for raw material investigations as well as evaluation and qualification of new good manufacturing practice (GMP) cell banks for manufacturing implementation. Process characterization studies are performed also with qualified scale-down models to improve process consistency (1, 2). Often it is impractical to conduct investigational studies at…

Photo 1:  SmartGlass bioreactor with the G3Lab Universal controller

Experiences with a Benchtop-Scale Glass Bioreactor: Engineering Data and Cultivation Results

Animal cell lines (the dominant expression systems in biopharmaceutical production processes) are mostly cultivated in stirred bioreactors (1). Although such bioreactors are widely accepted and applicable over a wide range of scales, engineering data for these systems are still lacking. Nevertheless, studies have shown that the correct choice of key parameters (e.g., power input, tip speed, mixing time, and oxygen mass transfer) can influence the growth of animal cell cultures (2). Therefore, detailed characterization is essential. It enables reliable scaling…

The Open Design Initiative
The BoB team has its own views on
addressing the four challenges that
must be met in designing a future
standard solution for adherent cell
culture. Market opinion is most
important, however. So the team has
conducted a series of surveys to provide
insights on design features that would
best suit market needs. A public survey
conducted in September and October of
2014 asked about the relevance of
various cost parameters to overcome
Challenge #4. Results are shown here.

Bioreactor Design for Adherent Cell Culture: The Bolt-On Bioreactor Project, Part 4 — Process Economics

The Bolt-on Bioreactor (BoB) project is an independent initiative developing and commercializing a bioreactor for efficient, automated culture of adherent cells for biopharmaceutical applications (1). After conducting thorough research on available culture systems for adherent cells, the BoB team believes that a successful alternative to existing devices must solve four major challenges: volumetric productivity (2), process automation (3), containment and sterility (4), and process economics. This month concludes a four-part series addressing each of those challenges while describing design features…

Photo 1: Pall Allegro STR bioreactor

Fluid Dynamics of a Single-Use, Stirred-Tank Bioreactor for Mammalian Cell Culture

The benefits of single-use technologies in both upstream and downstream operations are now widely acknowledged by the biopharmaceutical industry, and have led to radical changes in the design and operation of many bioprocesses. Those changes typically provide more robust processes and increased production flexibility. For mammalian cell culture, cleanable multiuse glass or stainless steel stirred-tank reactors (STRs) have been used successfully for growth of suspension-adapted cell lines in both small- and large-scale systems. However, achieving the same or better performance…