Animal Cell Culture


The field of animal cell culture poses major challenges to the biotechnological process development. This is, for example, due to long process durations, numerous complex nutrient requirements of the cells, and sensitivity to hydromechanical stress. The AVT.BioVT applies its expertise in small-scale cultivations in shake flasks and microplates to the field of animal cell culture. In this way, the AVT.BioVT aims to contribute to answering research questions that have remained unanswered to date.

The research activities in the field of animal cell culture focus on the application of online measurement techniques in small-scale cultivation systems (mL scale). For this purpose, online monitoring technologies already developed at the AVT.BioVT are adapted to the process requirements of animal cell culture. Initial findings show that, despite the very low respiration rates of animal cell cultures, the RAMOS technology can be used to study growth and production behaviour under different cultivation conditions. For example, different cultivation media can be compared. The influence of cultivation parameters (e.g. filling volume and rotational speed) on growth behaviour can also be evaluated in this way. The available measurement sensitivity also allows critical culture parameters such as cell viability and cell numbers to be determined with increased temporal resolution over the course of the cultivation. Thus, effects that have so far been insufficiently understood in industry-related processes, can be investigated more precisely and described in more detail.

The non-invasive BioLector technology, established in microplates, is also used at the AVT.BioVT for animal cell culture. The signal intensities of biogenic fluorescence such as riboflavin and NADH or scattering by cell growth, measured by spectrometric methods, are the basis for process characterization in microplate-scale. Compared to cultivations in larger bioreactors, throughput can be increased while the required culture volumes are significantly reduced. Besides the identification of suitable screening parameters (e.g. initial cell numbers or medium composition), which can be investigated in the measurement system, the question of scale-up is also central to the investigations. The transferability of processes between microplates, shake flasks and stirred tank bioreactors must be given in order to take advantage of the increased throughput in microplates. The increased sensitivity of animal cell cultures to hydromechanical stress brings this scale-up criterion into sharper focus than is the case for prokaryotic systems.

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We continuously offer theses on the mentioned topics. You can find student and final theses here (access only from the RWTH network). In addition, you are welcome to send us a spontaneous application via our secretary (