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SUSPension ENvironment for CEll culture

Project description

Suspended but animated: A novel bioreactor supports competitive large-scale cell culture

Bioreactors, technically just vessels in which biological reactions take place, have filled an important need when it comes to aerobic cell culturing. Cell culturing is itself an important enabler of experiments supporting areas such as drug development and tissue engineering. Conventional manual labour-intensive methods for cell culturing are an important bottleneck to speedy and cost-effective results. The Italian SME BioCom - Biomedical Components has developed a novel dynamic suspension bioreactor for large-scale culture that eliminates the moving parts in other bioreactors that damage cells and add cost and complexity. EU funding of the SUSPENCE project will help the team optimise its technology and prepare for a market launch.


Large-scale production of cells is essential for basic research, disease modelling and drug testing. However, scalability and standardization in cellular manufacturing are still major challenges: when large numbers of cells are required, conventional two-dimensional (2D) culture strategies, mainly based on manual, space- and labour-intensive interventions, are practically and financially unsustainable. Dynamic suspension allows large-scale production of cells, but current solutions on the market suffer from limitations in terms of cells damaging and potential contamination (stirred tank bioreactors) or high cost and complexity (rotating bioreactors). The SUSPENCE solution is a microgravity perfusion bioreactor, a highly innovative technological system that keeps cells in suspension in the culture chamber, allowing them to grow and reach maturity in dynamic conditions with no rotation mechanism or moving parts. SUSPENCE benefits have been confirmed by explanatory morphological and biological tests carried out on an in vitro cell culture. SUSPENCE advantages on competing solutions are: less cell damage, more easy-to-use, increased productivity, better monitoring and control and reduced operation costs. The design of SUSPENCE bioreactor is protected by an international patent application. The target users are research labs and red-biotech firms and; the market size has been estimated in over 6.000 potential customers in EU. Commercialization will start on the Italian market in 20 months from the start of the project, after pre-commercial pilots and industrialization, to expand on the EU market in 36 months and to reach the global market in month 48, after release of larger capacity devices. Forecast revenues are 9 M€/year in the 3rd year of commercialisation. The total financial requirement amounts to about 2.5 M€, with an IRR of 74%. SUSPENCE received thrice the “Seal of Excellence” by European Commission in 2018 (deadline of May, September, November).

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
00196 ROMA

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Centro (IT) Lazio Roma
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00