When it comes to the culturing of biological agents for research purposes, industry leaders often turn to bioreactors. Traditionally, these have taken the form of stirred-tank bioreactors as they are often easy to scale up, have good fluid mixing, and easy compliance. These bioreactors have limitations, however, and when researchers are working with more delicate cell cultures, they may instead rely on airlift bioreactors. A major drawback of airlift bioreactors is the formation of “dead zones,” or regions where insufficient mixing occurs due to high biomass density. Other challenges include difficulty with cleaning and minimizing cross contamination. Seeking to address these obstacles, a new product from Cellexus, the CellMaker, has arrived on the scene.
The CellMaker stands out as the only single-use bioreactor that also takes advantage of pure airlift technology, allowing the product to be efficient at mixing with no dead zones. Designed to meet the needs of the life science industry, the CellMaker is gentler than a stirred bioreactor with superior gas transfer than a rocking system. Between the rising cost of medium, inefficiencies around equipment cleaning, and cross contamination mitigation, choosing the right bioreactor for your lab is a challenge. With the CellMaker, each batch of process eliminates much of these risks.
“The CellMaker Controller can run both our 8L enclosure or our 50L enclosure, which allows our 4L bag, 8L bag, and 50L bag to be run off one controller,” says Gavin Hands, CEO of Cellexus. “This provides a range of working volumes from 1.5L to 50L for a very small laboratory footprint with a low capital expenditure, as the system can be scaled from an 8L enclosure to 50L enclosure only when necessary.”
By generating bubbles that pass through the mixture, the CellMaker single-use airlift bioreactor produces a gentle mixing action that is perfect for delicate cell cultures. These production runs take place in a single-use bag that can be swapped for a fresh bag for the next run. This is a benefit when considering the cost of downtime with reusable stainless steel or glass systems and means the CellMaker has faster turnaround times and no downtime for cleaning or sterilization.
No other product offers 1.5L through 50L on a single controller, meaning that labs that work at small volumes that need to scale up down the line could benefit greatly from this product. At the moment, the technology is tailored for microbial and bacteriophage applications, but work is being done to expand into mammalian cells and stem cells.
Looking ahead, Cellexus has no intention of slowing down. “We are building relationships with third-party suppliers whose products have been tested with our CellMaker and will benefit the end user by enhancing our offering according to the scientists’ processes and requirements,” says Hands. “As a small, nimble company we can tailor our offerings to meet our customers’ needs.”