, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 325-335
Date: 12 May 2011

Online- and offline- monitoring of stem cell expansion on microcarrier

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In the biopharmaceutical industry, adherent growing stem cell cultures gain worldwide importance as cell products. The cultivation process of these cells, such as in stirred tank reactors or in fixed bed reactors, is highly sophisticated. Cultivations need to be monitored and controlled to guarantee product quality and to satisfy GMP requirements. With the process analytical technology (PAT) initiative, requirements regarding process monitoring and control have changed and real-time on-line monitoring tools are recommended. A tool meeting the new requirements may be the dielectric spectroscopy for online viable cell mass determination by measurement of the permittivity. To establish these tools, proper offline methods for data correlation are required. The cell number determination of adherent cells on microcarrier is difficult, as it requires cell detachment from the carrier, which highly increases the statistical error. As an offline method, a fluorescence assay based on SYBR®GreenI was developed allowing fast and easy total cell concentration determination without the need to detach the cells from the carrier. The assay is suitable for glass carriers used in stirred tank reactor systems or in fixed bed systems, may be suitable for different cell lines and can be applied to high sample numbers easily. The linear dependency of permittivity to cell concentration of suspended stem cells with the dielectric spectroscopy is shown for even very small cell concentrations. With this offline-method, a correlation of the cell concentration grown on carrier to the permittivity data measured by the dielectric spectroscopy was done successfully.