Microfluidic Cell Retention Device for Perfusion of Mammalian Suspension Culture

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Scientific Reports, 2017, 7 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2017 The Author(s). Continuous production of biologics, a growing trend in the biopharmaceutical industry, requires a reliable and efficient cell retention device that also maintains cell viability. Current filtration methods, such as tangential flow filtration using hollow-fiber membranes, suffer from membrane fouling, leading to significant reliability and productivity issues such as low cell viability, product retention, and an increased contamination risk associated with filter replacement. We introduce a novel cell retention device based on inertial sorting for perfusion culture of suspended mammalian cells. The device was characterized in terms of cell retention capacity, biocompatibility, scalability, and long-term reliability. This technology was demonstrated using a high concentration (>20 million cells/mL) perfusion culture of an IgG1-producing Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line for 18-25 days. The device demonstrated reliable and clog-free cell retention, high IgG1 recovery (>99%) and cell viability (>97%). Lab-scale perfusion cultures (350 mL) were used to demonstrate the technology, which can be scaled-out with parallel devices to enable larger scale operation. The new cell retention device is thus ideal for rapid perfusion process development in a biomanufacturing workflow.
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