Common production platforms employed for manufacture of vaccines, biologics, and cell therapeutics include 2-dimensional culture systems such as roller bottles or cell cubes/factories. These systems are typically used for expansion of cells to seed large bioreactors. Although well-established, these formats occupy a large footprint, are labor intensive and are susceptible to frequent contamination problems due to numerous open handling steps. Impeller-driven bioreactors provide logical alternatives to 2-dimensional culture systems. Advantages of bioreactors include the ability to precisely control and optimize cell growth conditions, ease of use and avoidance of contamination due “closed” nature of the system.
Microcarriers offer a large surface area for growth of anchorage-dependent cell types. Because specific cell types have different requirements for attachment and growth, the optimal microcarrier should be selected experimentally. This can be accomplished in small-scale studies with multiple microcarrier types to identify the best microcarrier for a particular application. In order to facilitate and streamline manufacturing processes, consideration should be given to the physical characteristics of the microcarriers. For example, durable and rigid microcarriers facilitate efficient harvest of cells from bioreactors. Additionally, some microcarrier types require minimal preparation steps prior to use.
MRC-5 cells are a human-derived lung fibroblast diploid cell line, commonly used for production of vaccines such as rubella, hepatitis A, varicella, rabies, and smallpox. In this application note we demonstrate that SoloHill®’s Microcarriers provide an ideal substrate for expansion of MRC-5 cells in a closed stirred vessel system and lay the groundwork for subsequent developmental studies in larger bioreactor formats.