Stem cells in bioreactors—easy, efficient, and highly reliable
Large numbers of cells, usually undifferentiated, are needed for cell-based therapies and drug discovery. The methods described above are limited in terms of scalability, maintaining defined cultivation conditions and overall efficiency. When it comes to industrial-scale applications, stirred-tank bioreactors might be the better choice:
- Key cultivation parameters such as pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) can be monitored and controlled individually in real time, making it easy to establish robust and reliable processes.
- Cell viability and metabolic activity can be monitored directly.
- Advanced feeding strategies such as medium perfusion can be implemented.
- Bioreactors need significantly less working space relative to their cultivation volume, compared to T-flasks or shake flasks.
- Automation possibilities and integrated software systems streamline analysis and documentation, minimizing the time, cost, and labor required.
Stem cells are among the most sensitive animal cells in culture. Shear forces, shifts in pH, temperature or oxygen tension can directly influence their viability and expansion. Moreover, the isolation of stem cells is a cumbersome process, and for embryogenic stem cells can be ethically problematic. This makes them a highly valuable good that should be handled in a sustainable way and with the greatest care. Stirred-tank bioreactors, with the above mentioned advantages in monitoring, control, and automation help achieving these favorable conditions.