, Volume 44, Issue 1-2, pp 27-46

Modelling of Mammalian Cells and Cell Culture Processes

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Abstract

Mammalian cell cultures represent the major source for a number of very high-value biopharmaceutical products, including monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), viral vaccines, and hormones. These products are produced in relatively small quantities due to the highly specialised culture conditions and their susceptibility to either reduced productivity or cell death as a result of slight deviations in the culture conditions. The use of mathematical relationships to characterise distinct parts of the physiological behaviour of mammalian cells and the systematic integration of this information into a coherent, predictive model, which can be used for simulation, optimisation, and control purposes would contribute to efforts to increase productivity and control product quality. Models can also aid in the understanding and elucidation of underlying mechanisms and highlight the lack of accuracy or descriptive ability in parts of the model where experimental and simulated data cannot be reconciled. This paper reviews developments in the modelling of mammalian cell cultures in the last decade and proposes a future direction – the incorporation of genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic data, taking advantage of recent developments in these disciplines and thus improving model fidelity. Furthermore, with mammalian cell technology dependent on experiments for information, model-based experiment design is formally introduced, which when applied can result in the acquisition of more informative data from fewer experiments. This represents only part of a broader framework for model building and validation, which consists of three distinct stages: theoretical model assessment, model discrimination, and model precision, which provides a systematic strategy from assessing the identifiability and distinguishability of a set of competing models to improving the parameter precision of a final validated model.