Suspension culture is an essential large-scale cell culture technique for biopharmaceutical development and regenerative medicine. To transition from monolayer culture on the culture surface of a flask to suspension culture in a bioreactor, a pre-specified cell number must first be reached. During this period of preparation for suspension culture, static suspension culture in a flask is generally performed because the medium volume is not large enough to use a paddle to circulate the medium. However, drawbacks to this static method include cell sedimentation, leading to high cell density near the bottom and resulting in oxygen and nutrient deficiencies. Here, we propose a suspension culture method with acoustic streaming induced by ultrasonic waves in a T-flask to create a more homogeneous distribution of oxygen, nutrients, and waste products during the preparation period preceding large-scale suspension culture in a bioreactor. To demonstrate the performance of the ultrasonic method, Chinese hamster ovary cells were cultured for 72 h. Results showed that, on average, the cell proliferation was improved by 40% compared with the static method. Thus, the culture time required to achieve a 1000-fold increase could be reduced by 32 h (a 14% reduction) compared with the static method. Furthermore, the ultrasonic irradiation did not compromise the metabolic activity of the cells cultured using the ultrasonic method. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of the ultrasonic method for accelerating the transition to large-scale suspension culture.
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