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Biotechnol Prog. 1990 Mar-Apr;6(2):114-20.

Shear sensitivity of hybridoma cells in batch, fed-batch, and continuous cultures.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77251-1892.


Previously, we observed that CRL-8018 hybridoma cells were more sensitive to well-defined viscometric shear during the lag and stationary phases than during the exponential phase of batch cultures. Some potential hypotheses for explaining the increase in shear sensitivity are (1) nutrient limitations that result in a decrease in production of specific cellular components responsible for the mechanical strength of the cell, (2) nutrient limitations that lead to synchronization of the culture in a cell cycle phase that is more sensitive to shear, or (3) a link between cell growth and shear sensitivity, such that slowly growing cells are more sensitive to shear. Here, the duration of the exponential phase was increased with use of fed-batch, and the effect on shear sensitivity of the cultures was measured with a viscometric technique. Extension of exponential growth resulted in an increased period during which the cells were insensitive to shear. Additionally, the shear sensitivity of the cells was constant over a wide range of growth rates and metabolic yields in chemostat cultures. These observations suggest that as long as the cells are actively (exponentially) growing, their shear sensitivity does not depend on the growth rate or metabolic state of the cell as expressed by metabolic yields. Thus, hypothesis 3 above can be dismissed.

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