Difficulty in growing cholesterol-dependent NS0 cells in the Wave bioreactor using the original low-density polypropylene (LDPE) bags has been encountered. It has been shown that in these bags chemically defined cholesterol is depleted from solution and therefore unavailable for the cells. Our data suggest that the cause of the depletion is not chemical but is due to the physical structure of the polymer. It is proposed that polymer structures with inkbottle pores retain cholesterol, whereas structures with V-shaped pores adsorb cholesterol reversibly. Ultra-low-density polyethylene (ULDPE) bags can support cell growth but need to be pretreated with excess cholesterol. Another material, fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) does not need to be pretreated and is found to be superior (negligible cholesterol adsorption) as a result of its inert characteristics.
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