Not shaken or stirred - new disposable bioreactor hits market

By Anna Lewcock

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cell culture, Oxygen

A firm specialising in disposable equipment for the
biopharmaceutical industry has introduced a new revamped bioreactor
to its catalogue, dispensing with the traditional rocking and
rolling mechanisms used in many bioreactors.

The new CellMaker Lite 2 from Cellexus Biosystems is the latest addition to the company's range of disposable technologies, and is an upgraded version of the firm's first generation bioreactor. Following a series of requests from customers, the company has released this new machine with a host of new features to satisfy the needs of the industry. New additions include the ability to control the flow of blended gases required to grow mammalian cells, and a much smaller footprint (60 per cent less than the previous model) to preserve precious bench space. New control software has also been incorporated into the new product, as well as other features to make it more user-friendly and eliminate the need for specially trained engineers to install and start the cell culture process. The company has also highlighted the fact that the system can also deliver gases to the aeration mechanism in the base of the disposable cell culture bag and the surface area above the cell culture (the headspace) independently of each other - a significant advantage over other products currently on the market according to Cellexus. The novelty of the CellMaker Lite 2 range of products is that they do not rely on the traditional method of physical agitation of the media to supply oxygen to cells. Other bioreactors currently on the market tend to rely on stirring, shaking, rocking or rolling mechanisms to transfer oxygen gas into solution and feed the cells. According to Cellexus, traditional mechanical systems based on this approach can lead to cell damage or ineffective oxygenation which in turn leads to lower yields. Alternatively, cells can be grown in flat flasks, but this method only allows a short diffusion path through which the cells can obtain oxygen. Avoiding these potential problems, Cellexus' products "rely on the aeration process itself"​ to mix the cell culture, which, combined with the geometry of the vessel itself and the company's own disposable culture bag, provides "gentle yet effective mixing and oxygenation".​ The key advantage of this feature is that it makes the equipment used for the cell culture process fairly simple and inexpensive compared to other standard mixing products on the market. The range of products (including the new bioreactor) make use of the company's core technology, the CellexusBag, which is disposable cell culture bag that doesn't need to be agitated yet provide the same oxygen mass transfer effectiveness as a vigorously shaken flask. Made from multiple polymer material and manufactured from pharmaceutical grade plastics to USP Class VI standards, the disposable bags meet ISO 10933 requirements and are manufactured under class 10,000 clean room conditions. The second generation bags also incorporate sensors to monitor pH and the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the cell culture medium as standard, removing the risk of contamination from re-usable sensors, which can also be somewhat expensive. The company's products also offer the standard advantages associated with other disposable technologies available on the market, such as removing the need for cleaning and validation procedures. In addition to this, the company boasts ease of implementation, with no software or complicated programmes to get to grips with, and installation taking just 30 minutes. The CellMaker enclosure comes in two sizes, 1-8 litres and 10-50 litres, both of which include an integrated temperature controller from 5°C above room temperature to 42°C, and an integrated pressure regulation system with a maximum pressure allowance of 50mBar or 0.75psi.

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