Development of rolled scaffold for high-density adherent cell culture

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Bioreactors for large-scale culture of mammalian cells are playing vital roles in biotechnology and bioengineering. Various bioreactors have been developed, but their capacity and efficiency are often limited by insufficient mass transfer rate and high shear stress. A rolled scaffold (RS) is a fully defined scaffold for high-density adherent culture of mammalian cells. The RS is a polymer film with spacers, that is rolled into a cylinder with a pre-determined gap between each turn. Cells are cultured on its inner surfaces, while media flows through the gap. The RS exhibits high surface-area-to-volume ratio over 100 cm2/mL and can transport nutrients and gases with significantly reduced shear stress via convection in a unidirectional laminar flow, rather than diffusion and random turbulent flow as in stirred-tank bioreactors. In this paper, we expanded Chinese Hamster Ovary cells with RS bioreactors and demonstrated cell culture density over 60 million cells/mL with a growth rate higher than conventional suspension culture. Besides, murine embryonic stem cells were successfully expanded without losing their pluripotency. The RS will provide an affordable, scalable, and reliable platform for large-scale culture of recombinant cells in biopharmaceutical industries and shear-sensitive stem cells for tissue engineering.

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Biomedical Microdevices

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