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Crit Rev Biotechnol. 2001;21(2):67-110.

Hydrodynamic damage to animal cells.

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  • 1Institute of Technology and Engineering, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


Animal cells are affected by hydrodynamic forces that occur in culture vessel, transfer piping, and recovery operations such as microfiltration. Depending on the type, intensity, and duration of the force, and the specifics of the cell, the force may induce various kinds of responses in the subject cells. Both biochemical and physiological responses are observed, including apoptosis and purely mechanical destruction of the cell. This review examines the kinds of hydrodynamic forces encountered in bioprocessing equipment and the impact of those forces on cells. Methods are given for quantifying the magnitude of the specific forces, and the response thresholds are noted for the common types of cells cultured in free suspension, supported on microcarriers, and anchored to stationary surfaces.

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