Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Dip-coating mediated mammalian cell lyopreservation at ambient temperatures

Technology #6849

Cell-based manufacturing is a major source of protein therapeutics worth over $200 billion worldwide each year. Mammalian cell lines, such as Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO), are particularly important due to their biological closeness to human cells, but face greater challenges than bacteria or yeast when it comes to storage and transportation. Current methods call for cryopreservation, which is costly to perform and maintain due to the amount of energy required and the strict temperature constraints that must be maintained to avoid cell death or degradation. A new method that dries specially prepared cells may provide a solution, allowing efficient and cheap storage at ambient temperatures without compromising cell viability.

Trehalose coating prevents cell damage during desiccation

The technique uses a new CHO cell line designed to work with trehalose, a sugar that helps prevent mammalian cell damage under anhydrous conditions. By dip-coating these cells in a trehalose solution while undergoing drying, a uniformly desiccated matrix of cells can be produced with over 94% survival rate. The resulting matrix can then be stored at ambient temperatures before later rehydration. The uniform result could prove to be especially useful as source material in plug flow bioreactor manufacturing.

Applications

  • Low cost mammalian cell storage and transportation
  • Enhanced biomanufacturing seed material

Advantages

  • Ambient temperature storage removes need for refrigeration.
  • Biologically compatible with current protocols.
  • Uniform resultant cellular matrix produces consistent results.