Letter | Published:

Entrapment of animal cells for production of monoclonal antibodies and other biomolecules

Naturevolume 302pages629630 (1983) | Download Citation



Animal cell technology is attracting considerable interest because of the capacity of animal cell cultures to synthesize or transform complex compounds such as virus vaccines, immunochemicals, hormones or enzymes1. For the growth of surface-dependent cells, microcarrier technology is gaining importance2. Here, we have attempted to immobilize surface-independent cells, normally grown in suspension, by entrapping them in polymer microbeads. Such entrapment should give increased stability to the normally fragile animal cells, allow for high cell densities to be achieved within the beads and make such preparations suitable for continuous operation. At the same time, the need for separation of the desired product from the cells is obviated. With the model systems studied, we showed that hybridoma, as well as other cell lines entrapped in agarose microbeads, remained viable. Both immunoglobulins and lym-phokines were exported through the microbeads into the medium for 1–3 weeks, at levels corresponding well to those produced with free cells.

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Author information


  1. Pure and Applied Biochemistry, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden

    • K. Nilsson
    •  & K. Mosbach
  2. Department of Immunobiology, Sandoz Forschungsinstitut, Vienna, Austria

    • W. Scheirer
    • , L. Östberg
    •  & E. Liehl
  3. Institute of Applied Microbiology, University of Agriculture, Vienna, Austria

    • O. W. Merten
    •  & H. W. D. Katinger


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