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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


Monoclonal antibody production in commercial scale cell culture bioprocessing requires a thorough understanding of the engineering process and components used throughout manufacturing. It is important to identify high impact components early on during the lifecycle of a biotechnology derived product. While cell culture media selection is of obvious importance to the health and productivity of mammalian bioreactor operations, other components such as antifoam selection can also play an important role in bioreactor cell culture. Silicone polymer based antifoams were known to have negative impacts on cell health, production, and downstream filtration and purification operations. High throughput screening in micro-scale bioreactors provides an efficient strategy to identify initial operating parameters. Here, we utilized a micro-scale parallel bioreactor system to study an IgG1 producing CHO cell line, to screen Dynamis, ProCHO5, PowerCHO2, EX-Cell Advanced and OptiCHO media, and 204, C, EX-Cell, SE-15 and Y-30 antifoams and their impacts on IgG1 production, cell growth, aggregation, and process control. This study found ProCHO5, EX-Cell Advanced and PowerCHO2 media supported strong cellular growth profiles, with an IVCD of 25-35 x 10(6) cells-d/mL, while maintaining specific antibody production (Qp>2 pg/cell-d) for our model cell line and a monomer percentage above 94%. Antifoams C, EX-Cell and SE-15 were capable of providing adequate control of foaming while antifoam 204 and Y-30 noticeably stunted cellular growth. This work highlights the utility of high throughput micro bioreactors and the importance of identifying both positive and negative impacts of media and antifoam selection on a model IgG1 producing CHO cell line. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Yeast, Biotechnology, Cell culture, Chinese hamster ovary cell, Growth medium, Bioreactor


Industrial enzymatic reactions requiring 1,4-NAD(P)H2 to perform redox transformations often require convoluted coupled enzyme regeneration systems to regenerate 1,4-NAD(P)H2 from NAD(P) and recycle the cofactor for as many turnovers as possible. Renewed interest in recycling the cofactor via electrochemical means is motivated by the low cost of performing electrochemical reactions, easy monitoring of the reaction progress, and straightforward product recovery. However, electrochemical cofactor regeneration methods invariably produce adventitious reduced cofactor side products which result in unproductive loss of input NAD(P). We review various literature strategies for mitigating adventitious product formation by electrochemical cofactor regeneration systems, and offer insight as to how a successful electrochemical bioreactor system could be constructed to engineer efficient 1,4-NAD(P)H2-dependent enzyme reactions of interest to the industrial biocatalysis community.

Concepts: Adenosine triphosphate, Enzyme, Redox, Electrochemistry, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, Catalysis, Enzymes, Bioreactor


This study evaluated micropollutants removal and membrane fouling behaviour of a hybrid moving bed biofilm reactor-membrane bioreactor (MBBR-MBR) system at four different hydraulic retention times (HRTs) (24, 18, 12 and 6h). The results revealed that HRT of 18h was the optimal condition regarding the removal of most selected micropollutants. As the primary removal mechanism in the hybrid system was biodegradation, the attached growth pattern was desirable for enriching slow growing bacteria and developing a diversity of biocoenosis. Thus, the efficient removal of micropollutants was obtained. In terms of membrane fouling propensity analysis, a longer HRT (e.g. HRTs of 24 and 18h) could significantly mitigate membrane fouling when compared with the shortest HRT of 6h. Hence, enhanced system performance could be achieved when the MBBR-MBR system was operated at HRT of 18h.

Concepts: Bacteria, Sewage treatment, Wastewater, Hybrid, Environmental engineering, Septic tank, Bioreactor, Fouling


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