The MiniPERM bioreactor is our method of choice for the high-density culture of hybridoma cells (Fig. 1). The modular system, consisting of a 40-mL disposable culture chamber and a 550-mL reusable nutrient module separated by a dialysis membrane (12.5 kDa molecular weight cutoff), allows for the production of a low-volume, high-density cell population with a correspondingly high antibody yield.
The hybridomas and secreted antibody are retained in the production module (Fig. 2). Depending on the cell line, cell densities can reach upwards of 1 x 107 cells/mL. The MiniPERM bioreactor is rotated on a universal turning device that allows four MiniPERM bioreactors to be run simultaneously for larger production runs of one hybridoma or production of different hybridomas. This motion speeds the distribution of nutrients to the cells and facilitates the removal of metabolic waste products and CO2, processes that rely on passive diffusion in static bioreactors. Sample collection and harvesting is via Luer-Lock connections on the production module. The MiniPERM is a continuously fed culture system that allows cultures to be maintained for several weeks.
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