Porous Microcarriers for Growing Cell Cultures

Period of Performance: 08/01/1988 - 07/31/1989


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Biotech Research Laboratories, Inc.
Rockville, MD 20850
Principal Investigator


Our long-term objective is the development of cost-effective technology for the manufacture of vaccines and pharmaceuticals from animal cell culture. Our Phase I project demonstrated the feasibility of growing mammalian cells in porous microcarriers (PMC) made from collagen-glycosaminoglycan crosslinked copolymer. High densities of viable and metabolically-active anchorage- dependent MRC-5 human fibroblasts and CHO cells could be grown in the PMC and high concentrations of anchorage-independent hybridoma cells could be entrapped. The PMC remained stable during several weeks of stirred suspension culture of cells. Our Phase II research objectives are: to determine the cell growth kinetics and product formation kinetics in this material in greater detail; to increase the range of commercially important cell lines which can be successfully cultured in this material; to develop improved methodology to study the growth, viability, and metabolism of cells in the interior of this material; to study mechanisms of cell association with the matrix and mechanisms of mass transfer of nutrients within the matrix; to understand the hydrodynamic behavior of the particles in the culture medium; to demonstrate the use of this material ia batch, fed-batch and continuous culture in process controlled fermenters; and to understand the factors controlling economic performance of our materials.