Anchorage-dependent cells require a surface to which they adhere to and grow. These cells are typically grown in t-flasks or roller bottles but the difficulty in scale up of these culture vessels have led to the development of carriers.
Carriers can take various forms and sizes; some can be spherical in shape called microcarrier beads, which are used in stirred tank bioreactors, while some can be in the form of sheets or fibers, which are used in packed-bed or tide motion bioreactor. A wide variety of carriers are available in the market today, each differing in their physical and chemical properties. The choice of carrier depend greatly on the type of cells to be cultured, as different cells have varying anchorage requirements.
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