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J Biotechnol. 1995 Dec 1;43(2):81-94.

Mechanisms of animal cell damage associated with gas bubbles and cell protection by medium additives.

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Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, Kowloon.


Animal cell damage arising from gas sparging is considered to be a major barrier to large-scale production of recombinant biologicals in animal cell culture. Understanding sparging cell damage is therefore of significance to the application of animal cell culture. The paper reviews the hydrodynamics of bubble rupture, mechanisms of cell-bubble interaction, mathematical modelling and quantification of the sparging damage. Another interesting topic addressed in the paper is the protective effects of various medium additives against fluid mechanical cell damage, especially those surface-active polymers such as pluronic polyols, methylcellulose and polyethylene glycol. Experimental results obtained recently by the author and other researchers were examined to reveal the mechanisms of additive protection. The interactions of additives with air-liquid interfaces and the animal cells were analyzed with respect to their physical properties and chemical structure.

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