Cell Line Development in Therapeutic Antibody Production

How Our Technology Improves Cell Line Development

Efficient screening of mammalian cells to find high-producer clones is a critical step in the antibody production process, particularly in today’s competitive biopharma industry where time is of the essence. Current technologies for finding and cloning high-value cells often slow and labour-intensive, utilising precious research time and putting a drain on internal resources.

Here at Sphere Fluidics, we’ve taken all these common bioprocess challenges into account and developed a unique platform that will help you find the rare cells you’re looking for faster and significantly more cost-effectively.

The Unique Benefits of Our Systems for Antibody Production

Sorting CHO cells for a high antibody expressors is commonly done by FACs. While this technology offers high throughput, it can sometimes cause damage to fragile cells. Alternatively, clone pickers can be used, but this method is very low throughput.

Our picodroplet technology is the perfect balance between the two – it’s gentle on cells and can screen at a very high rate of over one million cells per day. As you can see in the graph, using picodroplets for sorting CHO cells results in almost double the cell survival rate when compared to using FACs. This enables researchers studying antibody producing cells to retrieve more valuable clones and analyse more cells in less time. This increases the chances of finding high producing variants. Lastly, because picodroplets trap secreted antibodies, it offers ultra-sensitive and rapid assays over both FACS and clone pickers which can only measure cell-surface associated antibodies or diffused molecules respectively.

CHO cell viability during single cell sorting

Our Systems in Action for Antibody Production

Our technology can be applied to antibody production using various cell types, but most customers to date have focussed on the use of Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells – as it is one of the most commonly used mammalian host cell lines utilised for research and bioproduction.

Maintaining high levels of antibody secretion is essential for effective antibody manufacture. To highlight how powerful our systems are for this application, we compared the performance of suspension CHO cells grown in picodroplets alongside those grown in a shake flask.

Initially, the CHO cells were washed and split into two equal proportions, after which they were encapsulated in picodroplets or added to growth media in a shake flask. The cells were then incubated, and following hourly increments, harvested and antibody production analysed (i.e. by measuring IgG concentration).

As can be seen in the graph, the results showed that the cells grown in picodroplets produced more monoclonal antibodies compared to those grown in the flask (likely due to improved gas exchange in the picodroplet format). This was especially true of prolonged culture times, showing that our Cyto-Mine® system can significantly improve the production efficiency and yield when generating antibodies for use in biopharmaceuticals, scientific research or as diagnostic tools.

Antibody secretion in picodroplets