© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. The increasing demand for biopharmaceuticals produced in mammalian cells has driven the industry to enhance productivity of bioprocesses through different strategies. This is why fed-batch and perfusion cultures are considered more attractive choices than batch processes. In this context, the availability of reliable online measuring systems for cell density and metabolic activity estimation will help the application of these processes. The present work focuses on the comparison of two different monitoring tools for indirect estimation of biomass concentration in a HEK293 cell cultures producing IFN-γ: on one side, the oxygen uptake rate (O.U.R.) determination, by means of application of the dynamic method measurement which is already a widely used tool and, on the other side, a new robust online monitoring tool based on the alkali buffer addition used to maintain the pH set point. Both strategies allow a proper monitoring of cell growth and metabolic activity, with precise identification of the balanced cell growth and the most important action in the process, as is the media feeding. The application of these monitoring systems in fed-batch processes allows extending the growth of HEK293 cells, which in turn results in higher final cell concentrations compared with Batch strategy (7 · 10 6 cells mL −1 ), achieving 14 · 10 6 cells mL −1 for the fed-batch based on O.U.R. and 19 · 10 6 cells mL −1 for the fed-batch based on the alkali addition. Product titter is also increased in respect of the batch strategy (3.70 mg L −1 ), resulting in 8.27 mg L −1 when fed-batch was based on O.U.R. and 11.49 mg L −1 when it was based on the alkali buffer strategy. Results prove that fed-batch strategy based on the alkali buffer addition is a robust online monitoring method that has shown its great potential to optimize the feeding strategy in HEK293 fed-batch cultures.
- Alkali buffer addition monitoring
- Cell culture