C3's Perfusion Bioreactors

C3's hollow fiber bioreactor systems are fully automated, single-use perfusion systems designed to create an "in vivo"- like environment by utilizing hollow fibers that function like human capillaries and allow for high density cell growth. 

  • Hollow fibers are semi-permeable, capillary tubes made of polymers about 200µm in diameter
  • The hollow fiber bundle is encased in a clear case
  • The hollow fiber creates two spaces:
    •  The intracapillary "IC" side where media flows at a high rate 
    • The extracapillary "EC" side where cells are grown 

Electron Micrograph image of the hollow fiber capillaries with a cell mass growing in the EC space. 

  • The semi-permeable walls of the hollow fibers allow essential nutrients to feed the growing cells from the IC side to the EC side
  • Waste flows from the EC (cell) side to the IC side to be washed away, but the hollow fiber pore size restrictions retain cells and cell products
  • The separation of the cell product from the bulk media flow:
    • Prevents the cells from experiencing shear stress that could limit growth and production
    • Keeps the product highly concentrated to cut downstream processing requirements
  • Protein product can be continually harvested into a refrigerated harvest container as a concentrated, cell-free supernatant that is ready for downstream purification 
    • Decreases risk of protein degradation
    • Essentially eliminates downstream concentration steps