By Tim DeSutter
(Reprinted with permission of Integra Biosciences)
With the continuing focus on the use of animals for medical testing and antibody production, it has become more and more important for researchers to look for alternatives to the in vivo production of antibodies in ascites. Integra Biosciences has been cognizant of this continually changing environment and is at the forefront of research and development of in vitro alternatives to these processes.
The Integra CELLine system is a family of disposable plasticware. Based on membrane and compartmentalized technology, it is one of the innovations lending aid to antibody and protein production scientists in their quest to reduce the use of animals. These simple-to-use devices were developed with three main factors in mind:
Illustration to the right shows a cross-sectional diagram of the Integra CELLine 1000. As you can see, the cells and any cell-secreted product with a molecular weight of over 10Kd are retained in the growth chamber of the device. The semi-permeable membrane allows for the passage of nutrients from the upper reservoir to the growth chamber, while at the same time allowing waste products to be lifted through the membrane and into the upper chamber. This same membrane also acts as a barrier when changing the basal media to keep the cells in the growth chamber, thus allowing for a quick change of basal media.
In a traditional static culture flask, users can only use small amounts of media to cover their cells because of the need for oxygen to pass through the media to reach the cells. This problem has been overcome with the CELLine. By using a molded silicone membrane on the bottom of the device, oxygenation is directly reaching the cells from underneath, thereby allowing for up to a liter of media to be used in the basal media compartment. This combination reduces handling issues and thus the threat of contamination. The cell chamber is accessed via a serological pipet through a hermetically sealed port.
The CELLine family consists of the CL1000, with a 15-mL cell compartment and a 1000-mL media reservoir; the CL350 has a 5-mL cell compartment and a 350-mL media reservoir; and the CL6-WELL, which consists of six parallel chambers of 750