Large scale production of monoclonal antibodies has been accomplished using bioreactors with different length to diameter ratios, and diverse impeller and sparger designs. The differences in these physical attributes often result in dissimilar mass transfer, mechanical stresses due to turbulence and mixing inside the bioreactor that may lead to disparities in cell growth and antibody production. A rational analysis of impeller design parameters on cell growth, protein expression levels and subsequent antibody production is needed to understand such differences. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of Rushton turbine and marine impeller designs on Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell growth and metabolism, and antibody production and quality. Experiments to evaluate mass transfer and mixing characteristics were conducted to determine if the nutrient requirements of the culture would be met. The analysis of mixing times indicated significant differences between marine and Rushton turbine impellers at the same power input per unit volume of liquid (P/V). However, no significant differences were observed between the two impellers at constant P/V with respect to oxygen and carbon dioxide mass transfer properties. Experiments were conducted with CHO cells to determine the impact of different flow patterns arising from the use of different impellers on cell growth, metabolism and antibody production. The analysis of cell culture data did not indicate any significant differences in any of the measured or calculated variables between marine and Rushton turbine impellers. More importantly, this study was able to demonstrate that the quality of the antibody was not altered with a change in the impeller geometry.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Antibody production
- CHO cells
- Mass transfer