Cell Culture Scale-Up via 3D Bioactive Microcapsule

Capsules are designed to protect cells from shear, non-fouling, and customized for ease-of-use and recovery of cells.

Invention Summary:

Industrial cell culture scale-up is a critical unit operation in biopharmaceutical processes. Culturing adherent cells is particularly challenging, since they can’t simply be cultured in suspension but instead require surface area. Current methods culture adherent cell on the outer surface of solid, non-degradable microspheres in large bioreactors, which present challenges such as: 1. cell recovery, 2. Loss of cell viability due to exposure to fluid shear stress, 3. difficult downstream purification due to carrier debris and cell clarification.

Researchers at Rutgers University developed a 3D bioactive and degradable encapsulated cell culture platform for large scale manufacturing of adherent cells. The cells can safely adhere to the capsules that are mechanically robust to withstand high speed agitation. The microcapsules can be functionalized with bioactive molecules to enhance viability and proliferation. To harvest the cells, the capsules are dissolved without any negative effect on the cells. The researchers have developed several variations to meet the need of diverse cells.

Market Applications:

  • Cell manufacturing
  • Research tool
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Cell therapy


  • Scalable culture of adherent cells in suspension
  • Bioactive for custom cell expansion
  • Avoid damage to cultured cells
  • Functionalized with growth factors to reduce costs of bulk media supplements
  • Accurate cell counting
  • Reduced impurities
  • Degradable for simple recovery of cells
  • Single step cell seeding for streamlined processing

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Lisa Lyu
Assistant Director
Rutgers University