Large-scale cell suspension culture technology opens up opportunities for numerous medical and bioengineering applications. For these purposes, scale-up of the culture system is paramount. For initial small-scale culture, a simple static suspension culture (SSC) is generally employed. However, cell sedimentation due to the lack of agitation limits the culture volume feasible for SSC. Thus, when scaling up, cell suspensions must be manually transferred from the culture flask to another vessel suitable for agitation, which increases the risk of contamination and human error. Ideally, the number of culture transfer steps should be kept to a minimum. The present study describes the fabrication of an ultrasonic suspension culture system that stirs cell suspensions with the use of acoustic streaming generated by ultrasound irradiation at a MHz frequency. This system was applied to 100-mL suspension cultures of Chinese hamster ovary cells—a volume ten-fold larger than that generally used. The cell proliferation rate in this system was 1.88/day when applying an input voltage of 40 V to the ultrasonic transducer, while that of the SSC was 1.14/day. Hence, the proposed method can extend the volume limit of static cell suspension cultures, thereby reducing the number of cell culture transfer steps.
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