Next-generation WAVE Bioreactor™ from GE Healthcare Life Sciences provides state-of-the-art intelligent and accurate process control combined with true ease-of-use.
When it was first introduced in 1996, the WAVE Bioreactor, with its unique rocking motion, was an effective, breakthrough single-use technology for biopharmaceutical manufacturing. In 2013, GE Healthcare Life Sciences has updated the innovative WAVE technology in order to meet the evolving needs of the biopharmaceutical industry. The next-generation ReadyToProcess WAVE 25 Bioreactor includes accurate and intelligent control of numerous process parameters, extensive automated functions, and a user-friendly interface with many data analysis and reporting options. “We realize that the biopharmaceutical industry today constantly needs to develop to meet new regulatory requirements. It relies on many different types of cell culture processes and is looking to leverage advanced process analytical technology while also increasing product yield and reducing turn-over time. To meet these changing needs, we have developed a new WAVE Bioreactor system that builds on the functionality of the original system but is more advanced and yet easier to use,” says Cecilia Annerén, PhD, product manager with GE Healthcare Life Sciences.
More than just rocking
The ReadyToProcess WAVE™2 5 single-use bioreactor system consists of a rocker, a gas mixer, and a pump, all operated by UNICORN™ software installed on a client computer. The rocker is used together with one of three trays that support disposable Cellbag™ bioreactor cultivation chambers with working volumes up to 25 L. As with the original WAVE Bioreactor system, the rocker provides mixing through rocking, reliable temperature measurement from integrated sensors and accurate weight measurement from integrated load cells. The gas mixer delivers gas of a defined composition to the culture and is used, together with the optical sensors in the Cellbag bioreactor, for online control of culture pH and dissolved oxygen (DO).
In addition, there are several notable new features of the rocker that have a big impact on system operation. The system has a new tilt position to facilitate sampling and harvest and with rounded corners for easier cleaning, “While the new features seem simple, they have been greatly appreciated by people who have tested the new system. For example, the tilt position eliminates the need for heavy lifting when harvesting the bag and the wide top-opening of the lid enables complicated manipulations of the bag without removing the lid,” Dr. Annerén notes. In addition, it is now possible to adjust the speed, angle, and motion of rocking. The latter parameter is new for the ReadyToProcess WAVE 25 system and determines the acceleration profile, which at low settings creates a gentler wave motion that is suitable for cells on microcarriers and at higher settings creates more aggressive waves that are required for robust cells with a higher oxygen uptake rate, according to Dr. Annerén.
Easy to use
In addition to the new design of the tray, the UNICORN software, originally developed for use with GE Healthcare Life Science’s chromatography equipment, has been adapted specifically for