Microcarrier Culture Systems
Animal and human cells can be propagated in vitro in two basically different modes: as anchorage-independent cells growing freely in suspension throughout the bulk of the culture, or as anchorage-dependent cells (ADC) requiring attachment to solid substrate for their propagation (monolayer type of cell growth). This chapter describes the concept of the microcarrier (MC) culture, different commercially and noncommercially developed MCs, and critical parameters which determine their suitability for supporting cell growth and production of biologicals. It also describes the ways in which the MCs are used in the production of biologicals and the main problems and considerations in the scaling up of MC culture reactors. MC cell culture is the method of choice for producing useful products from ADCs, although cell propagators providing large, continuous-surface areas may have value in certain applications. Several kinds of MCs suitable for cultivation of animal and human cells are commercially available from a variety of sources.