From concept to implementation: How automation enables efficiency gains in cell culture process development

Conference Dates

July 16-20, 2017


In this talk we will provide you an overview on how we developed a fully automated MTP based cell culture system and how it was implemented in our routine cell culture development operations unit. We will take you on a journey from designing the automation concept, integrating off-the-shelf laboratory equipment, scaling down cell culture processes to finally showing the successful implementation based on a case study in late stage cell culture development. Main points that will be covered include the selection of the right hard- and labware by application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, challenges in miniaturization and automation of manual processes as well as procedures to ensure process robustness. Our in-house developed automated cell culture system is set up to be generic and utilizes 24 well plates as cultivation system in shaken mode. It is based on off-the-shelf commercial laboratory automation equipment and enables a fully automated process workflow including plate transport, seeding and feeding of cells, daily sampling and preparation of assays. The integration of a wide range of analytical instrumentation into the system allows a hands-off operation preventing a potential bottleneck in sample processing. Since more than 600 fed-batch cultivations can be handled in parallel our system is ideally suited for the screening of a wide range of process conditions. Combining the automation technologies in the fields of cell culture and product quality analytics enables the high throughput screening of a broad range of product quality attributes which makes this technology ideal for the process development. In a case study we will show you the suitability of our system for the purpose of product quality optimization. We could demonstrate that the results from the automated multi-well plates are predictive for the bioreactor and we established the system for the routine use of product quality optimization

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