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J Biol Stand. 1986 Oct;14(4):331-6.

Cell growth on microcarriers: comparison of proliferation on and recovery from various substrates.


Three commercially-important types of cell were grown on four different microcarrier substrates. The cells, which included normal human diploid fibroblasts (MRC-5), primary chick embryo cells and Madin-Darby bovine kidney cells (MDBK), were compared with regard to proliferation on the substrates and with regard to recovery of viable cells from the same substrates. The substrates used included glass-coated microcarriers (Biosil), collagen microcarriers (Ventregel), DEAE-dextran microcarriers (Cytodex I) and collagen-linked DEAE-dextran microcarriers (Cytodex III). The established cell line (MDBK) grew well on all of the substrates and a high percentage of viable cells could be harvested from each substrate. The MRC-5 cells also grew well on all four substrates but high recovery rates were achieved only with cells grown on the glass-coated microcarriers or collagen microcarriers. In contrast, the primary chick embryo cells grew well only on the glass microcarriers and the recovery rate of cells harvested from this substrate was high. In some industrial operations, the re-utilization of cells after removal from the substrate is necessary. In these situations the appropriate choice of microcarriers for the cultivation of the cells may be critical.

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