, Volume 9, Issue 1–3, pp 29–40 | Cite as

Design and performance of a trickle-bed bioreactor with immobilized hybridoma cells

  • H. A. Phillips
  • J. M. Scharer
  • N. C. Bols
  • M. Moo-Young


A trickle-bed system employing inert matrices of vermiculite or polyurethane foam packed in the downcomer section of a split-flow air-lift reactor has been developed for hybridoma culture to enhance antibody productivity. This quiescent condition favoured occlusion and allowed the cells to achieve densities twelve fold greater (12.8×106 cells/ml reactor for polyurethane foam) than in free cell suspension.

The reactor was operated in a cyclic batch mode whereby defined volumes of medium were periodically withdrawn and replaced with equal volumes of fresh medium. The pH of the medium was used as the indicator of the feeding schedule. Glucose, lactate and ammonia concentrations reached a stationary value after 5 days. With vermiculite packing, a monoclonal antibody (MAb) concentration of 2.4 mg/l was achieved after 12 days. The MAb concentration declined then increased to a value of 1.8 mg/l. In the polyurethane foam average monoclonal antibody (MAb) concentrations reached a stationary value of 1.1 mg/l in the first 20 days and increased to a new stationary state value of 2.1 mg/l for the remainder of the production. MAb productivity in the trickle-bed reactor was 0.3 mg/l·d (polyurethane foam) and 0.18 mg/l.d (vermiculite) in comparison to 0.12 mg/l·d for free cell suspension. This trickle-bed system seems to be an attractive way of increasing MAb productivity in culture.

Key words

hybridoma immobilization tricle-bed polyurethane foam vermiculite MAb productivity 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. A. Phillips
    • 1
  • J. M. Scharer
    • 1
  • N. C. Bols
    • 2
  • M. Moo-Young
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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