Ma, Kristin R, Juran, Cassandra M, and Almeida, Eduardo
American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) 2019; Nov 20, 2019 - Nov 23, 2019; Denver, CO; United States
The NASA Bioculture System is an advanced cell culture closed-loop system containing highly automated flowpaths designed to conduct long term biology experiments on ISS with earth remote controllable medium flow, temperature, gas composition, medium exchange, cell sampling and fixation. This technology was already demonstrated with successful cardiomyocyte and osteocyte cultures experiments onboard the ISS and is now supporting NASA PI science. The Bioculture System, however, can only support 10 cassettes with disposable flowpaths, each containing a single hollow fiber bioreactor with a culture capacity of about 2ml. This constraint not only severely limits the number of investigators that can conduct experiments in space, but also subjects the experiments to limitations in the number of replicates and conditions that can be studied. To address these limitations, we sought a novel design solution to maximize the number of separate bioreactor cultures and volume that can be conducted simultaneously. To this end we designed, prototyped, and are now testing a six-Vitvo 3D Matrix 2ml bioreactor insert that replaces the conventional Bioculture System hollow fiber bioreactor. This design will allow the Bioculture System to support up to 60 different bioreactors and samples at once. Specifically, the novel gas-tight containment housing insert contains six COTS Rigenerand VITVO bioreactors stacked on each side of a heat sink powered by the existing heating element and pair of temperature sensors. Medium will be distributed into each bioreactor's cell-free chamber via its built-in Luer connector, then across the 3D matrix to the cell chamber, dissipating laminar flow and limiting fluid shear stresses that might mechanostimulate cell cultures. Gas (5% CO2 in air) will be supplied directly to the bioreactor gas-tight housing for exchange via the bioreactor flat-surface gas-permeable membranes, eliminating the need for the existing Bioculture System cassette oxygenator. If successfully implemented on ISS, this new multi-bioreactor insert for the Bioculture System has the potential to make real-time cell science experimentation in space more efficient and accessible to more investigators.