A ceramic matrix having a high degree of surface area per unit volume is shown to have significant utility in the large scale culture of animal cells. The surfaces of the ceramic provide for the adhesion and growth of a wide variety of cells to densities equal to or greater than obtained with other methods such as roller bottles or microcarriers. Utilizing an automated system controlling pH and dissolved oxygen, scale-up from 0.9 m2 to 18.5 m2 of surface area was accomplished with no losses in efficiency of surface utilization. The density of Vero cells after 7–8 days culture under standard conditions averaged 6.6 × 105 cells/cm2 for each size of ceramic. Methods providing continuous monitoring of the culture through analysis of the cellular oxygen consumption rate and complete cell harvesting are described.
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