Application Note

Growing More Cells: A Simple Guide To Small Volume Cell Culture Scale-Up

Source: Corning Incorporated

We need more cells…Life science researchers are constantly being challenged to produce more cells for cell-based experiments and assays, or for producing recombinant proteins, antibodies and viral vectors. Researchers must choose from a sometimes confusing variety of cell culture vessels, systems and methods to meet their needs for larger quantities of cells. This Corning guide is designed to help researchers select the vessels and methods that can best meet all of their needs for growing more cells or producing more cell products. It will focus on basic systems suitable for producing at least 1 x 109 cells (approximately one gram). This guide is not designed for researchers who need to produce much larger quantities of cells or for clinical or industrial level production, although much of the information presented here may also be applicable to these situations.

One goal of this guide is to keep the scale-up process as simple as possible to increase the likelihood of success. A second goal is to keep costs as low as possible to make the scale-up process more affordable to research laboratories faced with tight budgets. As a result, hollow fiber perfusion systems, fixed- and fluidized-bed reactors, airlift and stirred tank bioreactors, as well as other systems requiring extensive investment in equipment or automation are not covered here. The reference section provides a useful starting point for additional information on these more expensive or complicated scale-up systems and strategies.