Institut für Funktionelle Grenzflächen (IFG)

Automated image processing as an analytical tool in cell cryopreservation for bioprocess development

  • Autor:

    Gretzinger, S. / Limbrunner, S. / Hubbuch, J. (2019)

  • Quelle:

    Bioprocess and biosystems engineering, 2019, 42, 5, 665-675

  • Datum: Februar 2019


The continuous availability of cells with defined cell characteristics represents a crucial issue in the biopharmaceutical and cell therapy industry. Here, development of cell banks with a long-term stability is essential and ensured by a cryopreservation strategy. The strategy needs to be optimized for each cell application individually and usually comprises controlled freezing, storage at ultra-low temperature, and fast thawing of cells. This approach is implemented by the development of master and working cell banks. Currently, empirical cryopreservation strategy development is standard, but a knowledge-based approach would be highly advantageous. In this article, we report the development of a video-based tool for the characterisation of freezing and thawing behaviour in cryopreservation process to enable a more knowledge-based cryopreservation process development. A successful tool validation was performed with a model cryopreservation process for the β-cell line INS-1E. Performance was evaluated for two working volumes (1.0 mL and 2.0 mL), based on freezing-thawing rates (20 °C to − 80 °C) and cell recovery and increase of biomass, to determine tool flexibility and practicality. Evaluation confirmed flexibility by correctly identifying a delay in freezing and thawing for the larger working volume. Further more, a decrease in cell recovery from 0.94 (± 0.14) % using 1.0 mL working volume to 0.61 (± 0.05) % using a 2.0 mL working volume displays tool practicality. The video-based tool proposed in this study presents a powerful tool for cell-specific optimisation of cryopreservation protocols. This can facilitate faster and more knowledge-based cryopreservation process development