FiberCell Cartridge Modules

FiberCell Systems hollow fibre bioreactor cartridges come in various sizes (see table below) and include a built-in gas exchange and pumping mechanism that integrates with the DUET pump.  Flow rates of up to 200ml/min are possible with the large cartridges at the highest pump setting. Cartridges are gamma-irradiated, single use devices with luer fittings to facilitate coupling to a media bottle via an autoclavable cap. A culture of 10^10 HEK or CHO cells can be continuously maintained for weeks or months in a 70ml Large Size hollow fibre cartridge. Cells are inoculated and supernatant is harvested using syringes connected to the cartridge side-ports. These operations must be conducted in a laminar flow cabinet: the cartridge + media bottle are easily removed from and replaced back into the DUET pump which remains in the incubator.

Small Cartridge Modules

Cat # C2025D – 20 kD polysulfone

20 kD MWCO polysulfonefiber with 450 cm2 of surface area. Only one wrap of oxygenation tubing to reduce system dead volume. For evaluation studies prior to scale-up.

Cat # C2025E – 5 kD cellulosic

5 kD MWCO Cellulosic fiber with 360 cm2 of surface area. Only one wrap of oxygenation tubing to reduce system dead volume.For evaluation studies prior to scale-up.

Cat # C2025 – SPECIAL 0.1 µm activated fibre – 1° cells – endothelial cells under flow

0.1 µm pore size for the highest exchange rates but without protein retention. 80 cm2 outer surface area. PVDF fiber allow for the attachment of matrix proteins, cytokines and antibodies. Ideal fiber for endothelial cell culture under shear and various types of primary cell culture.

Medium Cartridge Modules

Cat # C2008 – 5 kD polysulfone

Low MWCO (5 kd @ 50%) hydrophilic fiber for trapping smaller molecules. Suggested for recombinant proteins between 25 kd and 100 kd. Appropriate for suspension cell lines including CHO, HeLa and 293. Can support up to 109 cells and produce 100 µg/mL or more of recombinant protein in 20 mL ECS.

Cat # C2011 – 20 kD polysulfone

High MWCO (20 kd @ 50%) hydrophilic fiber for trapping larger recombinant proteins (120 kd on up depending upon glycosylation) hybridoma culture and lymphocyte culture. 20 kd MWCO allows TGF beta and TNF alpha to diffuse away while retaining antibodies. Can support up to 109 cells and produce 1-20 mg of a recombinant protein or 5-100 mg of monoclonal antibody every two days.

Cat # C5011 – 20 kD polysulfone for high output mAb production

The scale-up of antibody production has just been made easier. The C5011 cartridge can be managed in the same manner as the C2011 but with 2X greater productivity and twice the antibody concentration. The C5011 is the same cartridge as the C2011 but with more than twice the oxygenation capacity.

Large Cartridge Modules

Cat # C2003 – 5 kD polysulfone

Low MWCO (5 kD @ 50%) hydrophilic fiber for trapping smaller molecules. Suggested for recombinant proteins between 25 kD – 100 kD.

Cat # C2018 – 20 kD polysulfone

High MWCO (20 kD @ 50%) hydrophilic fiber for trapping larger recombinant proteins (100 kD or larger). Can support up to 5×1010 cells and produce 5-20 mg of protein every day in a volume of 60 mL. Appropriate for adherent or suspension cell lines including CHO, HeLa, BHK and 293 cells.

Cartridge Selection Guide

Cartridge/Flowpath Specifications
Catalog No.SizeSurface AreaFibre TypePacking DensityECS VolMWCO 50%Max. Cell#Oxygenator
C2025Small80 cm2PVDF39%3.9 mL0.1 µm1081.5 m
C2025DSmall450 cm2High flux PS50%3.2 mL20 kD108.65 m
C2025ESmall360 cm2Cellulosic30%4.4 mL5 kD108.65 m
C2025FSmall450 cm2High flux PS50%3.2 mL5 kD108.65 m
C2008Medium4000 cm2Low flux PS50%20 mL5 kD1094 m
C2011Medium4000 cm2High flux PS50%20 mL20 kD1094 m
C5011Medium4000 cm2High flux PS50%20 mL20 kD2 x 1096.1 m
C2003Large1.2 m2Low flux PS50%70 mL5 kD5 x 10106.1 m
C2018Large1.2 m2high flux PS50%70 mL20 kD5 x 10106.1 m

FiberCell® Systems offers three types of fibers: polysulfone, cellulosic, and PVDF fibers. We also offer three different molecular weight cut-offs (MWCO): 5 kD, 20 kD, and .1 micron.

Polysulfone fibres

The hydrophilic polysulfonefiber is specifically selected for good cell culture performance. Both the 5 kd MWCO and 20 kd MWCO fibers have ten times the gross filtration rate of the equivalent cellulosic fiber for rapid nutrient and waste exchange. This means that better cell growth and higher fidelity of protein production is possible compared to cellulosic fibres. Any cell type that will attach to plastic or grow in suspension culture should grow well in the polysulfone cartridge.

Cellulosic fibres

Not recommended for mammalian cell culture however these fibres are fine for use in antibiotic PK/PD applications.

0.1 µm activated fibre

Available only for the small cartridge module. This fibre allows protein matrices, antibodies and cytokines to be bound to the surface. Coating with a matrix is necessary prior to inoculation with cells. Use for primary cell types where you wish to control the surface matrix that the cells interact with and also for the growth of endothelial cells on the inside of the fibre.

Molecular weight cut-off (MWCO)

FiberCell® Systems defines molecular weight cut offs at the 50% retention mark. “Useful retention” is the size of protein that will be retained at>=90%. Retention depends upon the size, shape, post-translational modifications and stokes radius of the protein, not just the molecular weight. For the 5 kD MWCO fibre the useful retention is>=20 kD and it should be used for proteins in the range of 20 kD on up to about 140 kD. For larger proteins, the 20 kD MWCO fiber should be used.

Cartridge Module Size

FiberCell® Systems cartridges are powerful cell culture tools and their small size can be misleading. The medium sized C2011 with a surface area of 4,000 cm2 and a volume of only 20 mL has been shown to out-produce a 10 liter bag type bioreactor by a significant degree.

For recombinant protein production with CHO, HEK293…etc., select a cartridge size based on the amount you wish to collect. The larger cartridges should be used when 500 mg or more of a recombinant protein is desired.

For hybridoma culture always usea 20 kd MWCO medium-size cartridges, either C2011 or C5011.The 20 kd MWCO allowsinhibitory TGF beta to diffuse away. The scale-up option for monoclonal antibody production is the C5011 cartridge module which is optimized for highest output from hybridomas within the space of an incubator.

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