Why Closed Systems For Small Scale Single-Use Applications?


A Q&A With Brent Bushnell, Bioprocess Applications Specialist, Colder Products Company

Question: Why would creating closed systems be important for research (R&D) and process development (PD) cell culture applications?

Answer: Closed single-use systems reduce the risk of two critical forms of contamination: biological contamination and cross-contamination. Biological contamination includes competitive organisms such as bacteria, fungi and yeasts that are inadvertently introduced into cell culture processes. These organisms utilize culture nutrients, produce unwanted proteins and limit growth or destroy the intended cell culture. Most biological contaminations result in rapid growth and observable culture changes that indicate a culture must be discarded. However, slow growing contaminations can be subtle and may only become apparent when unwanted proteins are detected. In either case, biological contaminations are costly both in wasted time and materials. Cross-contamination results from protein residues from cell culture and processing equipment that is reused without proper cleaning. These residual proteins might inhibit proper cell growth or if they are structurally and chemically similar to the target protein, they pass through purification with the target protein and yield inconsistent results. For R&D and DP applications, closed, single-use systems can protect against both biological and cross contamination saving valuable research time and money.