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Determination of the maximum operating range of hydrodynamic stress in mammalian cell culture

Neunstoecklin, Benjamin, Stettler, Matthieu, Solacroup, Thomas, Broly, Hervé, Morbidelli, Massimo, Soos, Miroslav
Journal of biotechnology 2015 v.194 pp. 100-109
biopharmaceuticals, cell culture, cell growth, dissolved oxygen, hydrodynamics, mammals, manufacturing, mass transfer, metabolism, models, pH, product quality
Application of quality by design (QbD) requires identification of the maximum operating range for parameters affecting the cell culture process. These include hydrodynamic stress, mass transfer or gradients in dissolved oxygen and pH. Since most of these are affected by the impeller design and speed, the main goal of this work was to identify a maximum operating range for hydrodynamic stress, where no variation of cell growth, productivity and product quality can be ensured. Two scale-down models were developed operating under laminar and turbulent condition, generating repetitive oscillating hydrodynamic stress with maximum stress values ranging from 0.4 to 420Pa, to compare the effect of the different flow regimes on the cells behavior. Two manufacturing cell lines (CHO and Sp2/0) used for the synthesis of therapeutic proteins were employed in this study. For both cell lines multiple process outputs were used to determine the threshold values of hydrodynamic stress, such as cell growth, morphology, metabolism and productivity. They were found to be different in between the cell lines with values equal to 32.4±4.4Pa and 25.2±2.4Pa for CHO and Sp2/0, respectively. Below the measured thresholds both cell lines do not show any appreciable effect of the hydrodynamic stress on any critical quality attribute, while above, cells responded negatively to the elevated stress. To confirm the applicability of the proposed method, the obtained results were compared with data generated from classical small-scale reactors with a working volume of 3L.