What is the purpose of a cell expansion system? thumbnail image

What is the purpose of a cell expansion system?

Jun 29th 2023

A cell expansion system is a laboratory tool or device used in the field of cell culture and biotechnology. The purpose of a cell expansion system is to facilitate the growth and proliferation of cells in a controlled environment.

Cell expansion refers to the process of increasing the number of cells in culture. It is a critical step in various applications such as regenerative medicine, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical production, and basic cell biology research. A cell expansion system provides the necessary conditions and resources to support cell growth and division, allowing researchers to obtain larger quantities of cells for their experiments or downstream applications.

The specific purpose of a cell expansion system can vary depending on the intended use and the type of cells being cultured. However, some common objectives include:

  1. Amplification of cell numbers: Cell expansion systems aim to provide an optimal environment for cells to divide and multiply, resulting in an increased cell population. This is particularly important when starting with a small number of cells or when trying to generate large quantities of cells for therapeutic purposes.
  2. Maintenance of cell viability and functionality: The system should support the survival and proper function of cells throughout the expansion process. It may include features such as controlled temperature, humidity, and gas composition to mimic the physiological conditions required by the specific cell type.
  3. Scalability: Cell expansion systems are designed to be scalable, allowing researchers to expand cell cultures from small-scale experiments to larger production batches. They may include multiple culture vessels, bioreactors, or specialized culture surfaces to accommodate higher cell numbers.
  4. Process control and monitoring: Many cell expansion systems offer features for monitoring and controlling important parameters such as pH, oxygen levels, nutrient concentrations, and waste removal. These enable researchers to optimize the culture conditions and ensure reproducibility across experiments.
  5. Sterility and contamination prevention: To maintain the purity of the cell culture and prevent contamination, cell expansion systems often incorporate sterile handling techniques, aseptic conditions, and filtration systems.

Overall, the purpose of a cell expansion system is to create an environment that supports the controlled growth and expansion of cells while maintaining their viability and functionality. These systems play a vital role in various fields of research and applications where large quantities of cells are needed for experimentation or therapeutic purposes.