Automated Cell Culture Solutions for the biotechnological and biomedical market
Based in Bellaterra (Barcelona), HexaScreen Culture Technologies S.L. was established in May 2005 as a spin-off company emerging from the cooperation between two universities, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, and a technological center, Ascamm Centre Tecnològic.
Ever since 2005 the company has been working in the development of cell culture technologies for the biotechnological and biomedical market. This has led to a first commercial product named HexaBatch, which was launched to market early 2010.
HexaScreen C.T. has been supported by Fundación Genoma España, CIDEM and Esfera UAB. In October 2005 the HexaScreen C.T. project received the Expoquimia2005 R+D+I award.
At the end of 2009, Hexascreen C.T. signed a manufacturing and distribution deal with Telstar Technologies, another Spanish company. This deal will enable the large-scale commercial launch of the disposable Hexascreen® minibioreactor technology. The agreement also includes new shareholders in Hexascreen, consolidating its financial position, among them Telstar Technologies and AvançSA.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
HexaScreen Culture Technologies is a biotechnological company focused to support its costumers to speed up their bioprocess development and optimization, to reduce experimentation costs and to increase efficiency.
Our mission is to develop, manufacture and commercialize innovative cell culture system solutions with powerful characteristics for the biotechnological and biomedical markets, as well as to support its costumers through cell culture services and engineering services.
Objectives for developed systems
Low working volumes in order to dramatically reduce experimentation costs.
High overall levels of automation to ensure real easy-to-use systems.
Monitoring of culture key parameters.
Keeping affordable prices while preserving high quality equipment.
Single-use bioreactors to fasten post-experimental treatments.
Intuitive simple-to-use software to facilitate its use.
Roger Pons, PhD. General Director.
Andreu Fontova, MSc. Technical Director.
Jesús Martínez, MSc. R+D Engineer.
Manoli Jimenez. Administration.
- HexaScreen Culture Technologies Team.
The HexaScreen® automatic multiple minibioreactor system enables parallel cell growth studies to be carried out by combining the performance of laboratory-scale bioreactors with the speed of multiwell plates.
The HexaBatch version has been developed to perform 6 cell growth experiments in parallel with on-line monitoring of the temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH and optical density. These measurements are acquired by means of innovatory non-invasive measuring systems.
- Designed specifically for animal cell culture.
- Multiple simultaneous experimentation capability.
- Low working volume minibioreactors (10-15 ml).
- Single-use minibioreactors made from biocompatible plastic.
- Simple to use.
- Fully automated on-line measurements.
- High reproducibility in results.
The system is composed of two parts:
Single use minibioreactor plates made of biocompatible plastic. Sterile provided, it contains six individual minibioreactors (10 to 15 ml each) and is equipped with gas filters (inlet and outlet), two optical ports for DO, OD and pH non invasive measurements, a septum for inoculation, a low shear magnetic pendulum for agitation and a common bath.
WorkStation that provides common stirring, temperature regulation and individual aeration, while measuring pH, pO2, optical density and visible absorption spectrum
|System's Weight||30 Kg||System's HxWxD||640-800 x 340 x 300 mm.|
|Plate Material||Polystyrene (PS)||Working Volume||6 x 10-15 ml|
|Measurements and Specifications|
|Temperature||+25 to +40 ± 0.1°C||Dissolved Oxygen||0 to 100 ± 5%|
|pH||6.5 to 8.5 ± 0.03||Optical Density||0.02 to 1 A.U.|
|Stirring||Up to 400 ± 10 rpm||Aeration Time||0 to 15% of time|
The HexaBatch line of the Hexascreen® platform englobes a wide range of applications and cell lines:
|Cell Screening||Clone Selection
- CHO cells
- HEK cells
Adherent (microcarrier and surface):
- Vero cells
- Ovine MSC
- CHO cells
|Cell Characterisation||Growth parameter determination|
|Medium Definition and Optimisation||Commercial media comparison
|Process Optimisation||Initial cell concentration|
|Pharmacological Tests||Toxicity tests
|Cell adaptation||adherent to suspension|
The FedBatch MonoScreen® system is the real single-use scalable minibioreactor for microbial and cell cultures. The system has been designed to feature all standard bench-scale bioreactor characteristics in order to ease scaling-up configurations and attained results to higher volumes.
- Cell line compatibility: Microbial cultures as well as animal cell cultures.
- Scalability to higher volumes: standard geometry and similar kla ranges than a laboratory bioreactor.
- Automation of all standard and advanced laboratory bioreactor features: fed-batch, ph and pO2 controls, sample uptake, on-line measurements for physicochemical, cellular concentration and cellular activity parameters, reports...
- Stirring, aeration and measurements ranges compatible with high cell concentration cultures.
- Internal web server software: compatibility with any computer or wireless device.
- Wide range of applications: cell screening and characterization, basal and feed media definition and optimization, process optimization, pharmacological tests…
All its features and applications combined with its high automation converts the FedBatch MonoScreen to the best single-use scalable minibioreactor in the market.
The system is composed of two parts:
A single use minibioreactor containing a stirring system by means of a 6-blade Rushton for microbial or a helix turbine for animal cell cultures, an aerating system compatible for both sparging and head-space aeration, single use sensor spots for dissolved oxygen and pH measurements, two connected syringes for automatic feeding and pH control and an integrated automatic sample uptakes system, all of them made with biocompatible materials.
A WorkStation in charge of measuring and controlling minibioreactor, feed media and humidifier temperatures, aeration, agitation, pH, dissolved oxygen, feeding strategy and sampling. Furthermore, it is also in charge of measuring cell concentration (turbidimetry) and cell activity (OUR) information of the culture. All this characteristics are controlled by means of user-friendly web server software.
- pH Control is measured by means of non-invasive optical proves, can be controlled through aeration and by the addition of basic or acidic solutions.
- Dissolved Oxygen Control is measured by means of non-invasive optical proves, is controlled by varying the composition of a gas mixture of N2, CO2 and air or O2.
- Media Feeding is controlled by means of an infusion pump plunging a syringe containing the feed media, which is kept at fridge temperature.
- Sampling Uptake is automated through pressure variations inside the minibioreactor and collected into a sample 1.5 ml tube.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
|Cell line versatility||Animal cells (propeller turbine)
Bacteria (Rushton turbine, sparging)
Yeast (Rushton turbine, sparging)
|Multiple uses and applications
Optimal aeration system
Optimal stirring system
|Low working volume||20-30 ml of working volume
0-10 ml of feeding volume
|Low experimentation costs|
|Standard Bioreactor features||DO and pH monitoring
pH control profiles
DO control profiles
Temperature control profiles
Stirring control profiles
High Kla values
|High knowledge of experiment evolution
Full scalability to higher volumes
|Standard Geometrics||standard Di/Dt relation||Full scalability to higher volumes|
|Advanced Bioreactor features||Automatic fed-batch capability
Multiple feeding strategies
Optical density measurement
Automatic sampling system
Higher knowledge and control
Lower contamination possibilities
Easy offline analysis
Full scalability to higher volumes
|Single use solution||Single use minibioreactors||No post-experiment treatments needed
No cleaning protocol/validation needed
|Easy use||Easy to set-up experiments
|Fast set-up time
Low personnel requirements
|User friendly software||Fast DoE
21 CFR compliant
Easy control of experiment evolution
Low Volume Spinner Flasks for cell culture
The HexaScreen® Spinner Flasks have been designed and developed to fast and easy perform cultures of suspension cell lines, adherent cells growing on microcarrier and embryoid bodies.
The spinners, which are made of borosilicate glass, teflon and USP class VI compliant silicone o-rings, are fully autoclavable and ready to be used with a standard stirring plate inside an incubator.
Main Features and Design Objectives
- High scalability to higher volumes enabling scale up of attained results to commercial higher volume spinners.
- Improved relation between shear force and shear stress for standard but also delicate cell lines.
- Maximum reduction of death volumes.
- Low working volume leading to lower experimental costs.
- Capable to be used with standard incubator agitation plates.
- Fully autoclavable.
- Easy and fast operability.
SPECIFICATIONS AND APPLICATIONS
The HexaScreen® Spinner Flasks optimal design makes this spinner flask suitable for culturing a wide range of cell lines using very low volumes. From standard and robust cell lines growing in suspension or on microcarriers to much more delicated cell lines requiring very low shear stress forces.
|Working Volume||10 to 15 ml||Cap Diameter||48 mm|
|Vessel Diameter||35 mm||Vessel Height||56 mm|
|Stirrer Bar Length||25.5 mm||Filter Pores||0.22 mm|
|Sterilization||Heat (autoclave)||Agitation||Standard Agitation Plate|
|Suspension Cultures of Standard Cell Lines||CHO, HEK, MEDCK, Sf9...|
|Microcarrier Cultures of Adherent Cell Lines||Vero, CHO, HEK, MSC...|
|Embryoid Body Cultures of Stem Cell Lines||mESC, hESC...|
Optional stirring blades can also be used in order to enhance the agitation force while maintaining a similar shear stress to make it optimal for heavier microcarrier cultures.