Center will initially evaluate the platform in MDCK cells, which are used for growing influenza viruses.

The Automation Partnership’s (TAP) CompacT SelecT automated cell culture system will be used by the CDC to improve the culturing of vital cell lines to be used in public health disease-prevention activities. Researchers at the CDC are currently validating TAP’s system for the culture of MDCK cells that are used for growing influenza viruses. In the future, they plan to validate the system to grow Vero E6 cell lines for use in generating other viruses.

The CompacT SelecT is an automated cell culture and assay-ready plating system designed to meet the needs of medium-throughput laboratories. It has the capabilities of TAP’s established SelecT cell culture system but with a lower capacity and smaller footprint. The system grows cells from multiple cell lines in T-flasks for cell-line maintenance and expansion. It can generate assay-ready plates on demand for cell-based screening and assay development.

“The CDC’s use of CompacT SelecT will enhance productivity and help eliminate contamination risk, which will improve the reliability and consistency of cells,” says Tim Ward, director of cell culture at TAP. “Those receiving cells from the CDC will benefit by having greater confidence that they are using optimum quality cells for applications such as vaccine research and production.”

Increased demand for MDCK cell lines during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic prompted CDC to decide to move to an automated system to preserve staff resources and decrease the risk of laboratory contamination. The use of stable cell lines as substrates has attracted the attention of vaccine developers. According to published reports, the influenza virus isolated from MDCK culture retains the antigenic properties of epidemiological strain, whereas viruses adapted to chick embryos do not.

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