Biotechnology and Bioengineering vol:111 issue:10 pages:1982-1992
Online and non-invasive quantification of critical tissue engineering (TE) construct quality attributes in TE bioreactors is indispensable for the cost-effective up-scaling and automation of cellular construct manufacturing. However, appropriate monitoring techniques for cellular constructs in bioreactors are still lacking. This study presents a generic and robust approach to determine cell number and metabolic activity of cell-based TE constructs in perfusion bioreactors based on single oxygen sensor data in dynamic perfusion conditions. A data-based mechanistic modeling technique was used that is able to correlate the number of cells within the scaffold (R(2) = 0.80) and the metabolic activity of the cells (R(2) = 0.82) to the dynamics of the oxygen response to step changes in the perfusion rate. This generic non-destructive measurement technique is effective for a large range of cells, from as low as 1.0 × 10(5) cells to potentially multiple millions of cells, and can open-up new possibilities for effective bioprocess monitoring.