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Concept: Bioreactor


Small-diameter (<4 mm) vascular constructs are urgently needed for patients requiring replacement of their peripheral vessels. However, successful development of constructs remains a significant challenge. In this study, we successfully developed small-diameter vascular constructs with high patency using our integrally designed computer-controlled bioreactor system. This computer-controlled bioreactor system can confer physiological mechanical stimuli and fluid flow similar to physiological stimuli to the cultured grafts. The medium circulating system optimizes the culture conditions by maintaining fixed concentration of O(2) and CO(2) in the medium flow and constant delivery of nutrients and waste metabolites, as well as eliminates the complicated replacement of culture medium in traditional vascular tissue engineering. Biochemical and mechanical assay of newly developed grafts confirm the feasibility of the bioreactor system for small-diameter vascular engineering. Furthermore, the computer-controlled bioreactor is superior for cultured cell proliferation compared with the traditional non-computer-controlled bioreactor. Specifically, our novel bioreactor system may be a potential alternative for tissue engineering of large-scale small-diameter vascular vessels for clinical use.

Concepts: Fluid dynamics, Cell culture, Engineering, Fluid, Design, The Culture, Chemical engineering, Bioreactor


In recent years, several automated scale-down bioreactor systems have been developed to increase efficiency in cell culture process development. ambr™ is an automated workstation that provides individual monitoring and control of culture dissolved oxygen and pH in single-use, stirred-tank bioreactors at a working volume of 10-15 mL. To evaluate the ambr™ system, we compared the performance of four recombinant Chinese hamster ovary cell lines in a fed-batch process in parallel ambr™, 2-L bench-top bioreactors, and shake flasks. Cultures in ambr™ matched 2-L bioreactors in controlling the environment (temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH) and in culture performance (growth, viability, glucose, lactate, Na(+), osmolality, titer, and product quality). However, cultures in shake flasks did not show comparable performance to the ambr™ and 2-L bioreactors.

Concepts: Cell, Enzyme, Cell biology, Biotechnology, Cell culture, Chinese hamster ovary cell, Cell lines, Bioreactor


Tendon and ligament injury is a worldwide health problem, but the treatment options remain limited. Tendon and ligament engineering might provide an alternative tissue source for the surgical replacement of injured tendon. A bioreactor provides a controllable environment enabling the systematic study of specific biological, biochemical, and biomechanical requirements to design and manufacture engineered tendon/ligament tissue. Furthermore, the tendon/ligament bioreactor system can provide a suitable culture environment, which mimics the dynamics of the in vivo environment for tendon/ligament maturation. For clinical settings, bioreactors also have the advantages of less-contamination risk, high reproducibility of cell propagation by minimizing manual operation, and a consistent end product. In this review, we identify the key components, design preferences, and criteria that are required for the development of an ideal bioreactor for engineering tendons and ligaments.

Concepts: Medicine, Extracellular matrix, Skeletal system, Engineering, Ligament, Tendon, Bioreactor, Biochemical engineering


: The cultivation of hairy roots for the production of secondary metabolites offers numerous advantages; hairy roots have a fast growth rate, are genetically stable, and are relatively simple to maintain in phytohormone free media. Hairy roots provide a continuous source of secondary metabolites, and are useful for the production of chemicals for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food additives. In order for hairy roots to be utilized on a commercial scale, it is necessary to scale-up their production. Over the last several decades, significant research has been conducted on the cultivation of hairy roots in various types of bioreactor systems. In this review, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various bioreactor systems, the major factors related to large-scale bioreactor cultures, process intensification technologies and overview the mathematical models and computer-aided methods that have been utilized for bioreactor design and development.

Concepts: Mathematics, Culture, Root, Major, Food additive, Mathematical model, Bioreactor, Biochemical engineering


Bone Tissue Engineering (TE) aims to develop reproducible and predictive three-dimensional (3D) TE constructs, defined as cell-seeded scaffolds produced by a controlled in vitro process, to heal or replace damaged and non-functional bone. To control and assure the quality of the bone TE constructs, a prerequisite for regulatory authorization, there is a need to develop non-invasive analysis techniques to evaluate TE constructs and to monitor their behavior in real time during in vitro culturing. Most analysis techniques, however, are limited to destructive end-point analyses. This study investigates the use of the non-toxic alamarBlue® (AB) reagent, which is an indicator for metabolic cell activity, for monitoring the cellularity of 3D TE constructs in vitro as part of a bioreactor culturing processes. Within the field of TE, bioreactors have a huge potential in the translation of TE concepts to the clinic. Hence, the use of the AB reagent was not only evaluated in static cultures, but also in dynamic cultures in a perfusion bioreactor set-up. Hereto, the AB assay was successfully integrated in the bioreactor-driven TE construct culture process in a non-invasive way. The obtained results indicate a linear correlation between the overall metabolic activity and the total DNA content of a scaffold upon seeding as well as during the initial stages of cell proliferation. This makes the AB reagent a powerful tool to follow-up bone TE constructs in real-time during static as well as dynamic 3D cultures. Hence the AB reagent can be successfully used to monitor and predict cell confluence in a growing 3D TE construct.

Concepts: Scientific method, Protein, Bone, Bacteria, Blood, Culture, In vitro fertilisation, Bioreactor


Large numbers of Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) are required for clinical relevant doses to treat a number of diseases. To economically manufacture these MSCs, an automated bioreactor system will be required. Herein we describe the development of a scalable closed-system, packed bed bioreactor suitable for large-scale MSCs expansion. The packed bed was formed from fused polystyrene pellets that were air plasma treated to endow them with a surface chemistry similar to traditional tissue culture plastic. The packed bed was encased within a gas permeable shell to decouple the medium nutrient supply and gas exchange. This enabled a significant reduction in medium flow rates, thus reducing shear and even facilitating single pass medium exchange. The system was optimised in a small-scale bioreactor format (160 cm2) with murine-derived green fluorescent protein-expressing MSCs, and then scaled-up to a 2800 cm2 format. We demonstrated that placental derived MSCs could be isolated directly within the bioreactor and subsequently expanded. Our results demonstrate that the closed system large-scale packed bed bioreactor is an effective and scalable tool for large-scale isolation and expansion of MSCs.

Concepts: Mesenchymal stem cell, Redox, Demonstration, Stromal cell, Plasma, Stroma, The Medium, Bioreactor


High throughput automated fermentation systems have become a useful tool in early bioprocess development. In this study, we investigated a 24 x 15 mL single use microbioreactor system, ambr 15f, designed for microbial culture. We compared the fed-batch growth and production capabilities of this system for two Escherichia coli strains, BL21 (DE3) and MC4100, and two industrially relevant molecules, hGH and scFv. In addition, different carbon sources were tested using bolus, linear or exponential feeding strategies, showing the capacity of the ambr 15f system to handle automated feeding. We used power per unit volume (P/V) as a scale criterion to compare the ambr 15f with 1 L stirred bioreactors which were previously scaled-up to 20 L with a different biological system, thus showing a potential 1300 fold scale comparability in terms of both growth and product yield. By exposing the cells grown in the ambr 15f system to a level of shear expected in an industrial centrifuge, we determined that the cells are as robust as those from a bench scale bioreactor. These results provide evidence that the ambr 15f system is an efficient high throughput microbial system that can be used for strain and molecule selection as well as rapid scale-up. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Bacteria, Volume, Escherichia coli, Biotechnology, Atom, All rights reserved, Copyright, Bioreactor


Each kind of conventional plastic filler (polyurethane filler, SPR-1 suspension filler, TA-II elastic filler and sphere filler) coupled with alkaline pretreated corncob (A.H.corncob) was applied in each bioreactor system for treating polluted water with nitrate and organics. Results demonstrated that addition of A.H.corncob could achieve simultaneous removal of nitrogen and organics, and coupling of SPR-1 suspension filler with A.H.corncob (R2) had the best performance. In coupling system of R2, the total nitrogen (TN) removal rate improved from below 10% to 55.92 ± 18.27% with effluent CODMn concentration maintaining at a low level of 2.67 ± 0.44 mg L(-1). Microbial analysis of combined filler system demonstrated that conventional plastic filler mainly accumulated non-solid-phase denitrifiers for both nitrate and organics removal including genera Salipiger, Enterobacteriaceae etc. while A.H.corncob carrier was stronghold of solid-phase denitrifiers (Runella, etc.) directly using lignocellulosic materials as carbon source and fermentative bacteria (Coprococcus, etc.) for supplementing available carbon sources for denitrifiers in the system, which were integrated to achieve simultaneous removal of nitrate and organics.

Concepts: Oxygen, Archaea, Bacteria, Microbiology, Water, Water pollution, Carbon, Bioreactor


Contribution of mechanical loading to tissue growth during both the development and post-natal maturation is of a particular interest, as its understanding would be important to strategies in bone tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The present study has been performed to investigate how immature bone responds to mechanical loading using an ex vivo culture system. A slice of the tibia, with the thickness of 3 mm, was obtained from 0-day-old chick. For the ex vivo culture experiment in conjunction with cyclic compressive loading, we developed a custom-made, bioreactor system where both the load and the deformation applied to the specimen was recorded. Cyclic compression, with an amplitude of 0.3 N corresponding to 1 to 2% compressive strain, was applied to immature bone specimen during a 3-day culture period at an overall loading rate 3-4 cycles/min, in the presence of β-glycerol phosphate and dexamethasone in culture medium. The stress-strain relationship was obtained at the beginning and the end of the culture experiment. In addition, analyses for alkaline phosphate release, cell viability and tissue calcification were also performed. It was exhibited that elastic moduli of bone slices were significantly elevated at the end of the 3-day culture in the presence of cyclic compression, which was a similar phenomenon to significant elevation of the elastic moduli of bone tissue by the maturation from 0-day old to 3-day old. By contrast, no significant changes in the moduli were observed in the absence of cyclic compression or in deactivated, cell-free samples. The increases in the moduli were coincided with the increase in calcified area in the bone samples. It was confirmed that immature bone can respond to compressive loading in vitro and demonstrate the growth of bone matrix, similar to natural, in vivo maturation. The elevation of the elastic moduli was attributable to the increased calcified area and the realignment of collagen fibers parallel to the loading direction. The ex vivo loading system established here can be further applied to study responses to mechanical loading in osteogenesis as well as callus maturation for better understanding of factors to consider in successful bone regeneration with mechanical factors.

Concepts: Collagen, Extracellular matrix, In vivo, In vitro, Osseous tissue, Cortical bone, Elasticity, Bioreactor


Bioreactors are essential enabling technologies for the translation of Advanced Therapies Medicinal Products (ATMPs) from the research field towards a successful clinical application. In order to speed up the translation and the spreading of novel Tissue Engineering (TE) products into the clinical routine, TE bioreactors should evolve from laboratory prototypes towards industrialized products. In this work, we thus challenged the industrialization process of a novel technological platform, based on an established research prototype of perfusion bioreactor, following a GMP-driven approach. We describe how the combination of scientific background, intellectual property, start up factory environment, wise industrial advice in the biomedical field, design and regulatory consultancy, allowed us to turn a previously validated prototype technology, into an industrial product suitable for serial production with improved replicability and user-friendliness. The solutions implemented enhanced aesthetics, ergonomics, handling and safety of the bioreactor, and they allowed to comply with the fundamental requirements in terms of traceability, reproducibility, efficiency and safety of the manufacturing process of ATMPs. The result is an automated incubator-compatible device, housing 12 disposable independent perfusion chambers for seeding and culture of any perfusable tissue. We validated the cell seeding process of the industrialized bioreactor by means of the Design of Experiment (DoE) approach, whilst the effectiveness of perfusion culture was evaluated in the context of bone tissue engineering.

Concepts: Scientific method, Industrial Revolution, Science, Technology, Chemical engineering, Biomedical engineering, Industry, Bioreactor