Population balance equation modeling of embryonic stem cell aggregates
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Culturing stem cells for therapeutic purposes will require continuous production of large numbers of well-characterized cells in bioreactors. Production of well-defined long term cultures requires controlled conditions for specific outcomes. Cells seeded in bioreactors tend to aggregate and their cluster size increases with time. After a certain point, they divide into two or more daughter cells. Thus, at any point, the overall culture shows aggregation, breakage and proliferation stages. Population Balance modeling of mESC aggregates gives an insight into the nature of formation of cell aggregates as a result of interaction between themselves and with the nutrient medium. The equation consists of aggregation, breakage and growth or proliferation rate terms. Various aggregation models were investigated and a suitable fit was determined. The relationship between shear rate and coalescence kernel was simultaneously obtained. These models were then fit into the population balance equation and respective collision efficiencies were calculated by comparing experimental data with modeling data.