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Timegate's first measurements in the Testa Challenge!

Timegate finally started our Testa Challenge journey this week! For sharing our activities taking place at Testa Center, we are publishing a blog series relating to the event. We will post a blog every Friday, updating you with our latest operations. Follow along this journey through these upcoming posts! 

Read the rest of our Testa Challenge blog series:

Seed train in the womb

Before we arrived at the site, the Testa Challenge team at Testa Center had already started the bioprocess by seed train earlier this week. In this phase of the bioprocess, the Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are in a so-called womb, also known as a wave bioreactor. In the womb, the frozen cells are warmed up and awakened. After the cells have woken up, they are multiplying in this nutritious liquid called medium. In this phase, the goal is to have as many cells as possible.

IMG_7839  The cells in a wave bioreactor.

Timegate's arrival to Testa Center

On Wednesday the 16th of March three timegators drove from Oulu to Uppsala. Lauri played some Tetris and managed to pack the car with all Timegate’s equipment as well as the luggage. Roosa was responsible for picking the restaurants and taking pictures. Vineeth took the biggest responsibility as he drove all the way from Oulu to Uppsala for 15 hours.

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                          Timegators at Testa Center for the first time.

After a good night’s sleep, the timegators arrived at Testa Center on Thursday the 17th. We had such a warm welcome, and everything worked well at the site. The next step of the bioprocess started on Thursday when there were enough 'baby cells'. The cells were inoculated to a 50-liter bioreactor to grow again in various nutrients such as proteins and vitamins. The goal of this phase is to get as many viable, growing cells as possible for the next phase. We got our devices up and running, and already managed to do some test measurements with Timegated® Raman so that everything was perfect for our Application Specialist, Amutha. She arrived at the site and started the actual measurements today, on Friday the 18th.

First time-gated measurements in the Testa Challenge

Today we have been doing the actual monitoring of the bioprocess batch with our time-gated Raman technology. We are optimizing our devices for the next phase where the viable cells are getting fed and grown, the Fed-Batch. The Raman spectra we got today were great, and we are ready for the next phase of the bioprocess. Our instrument’s benefit in this Challenge is that the time-gated Raman can effectively overcome fluorescence to sense the molecular level changes of key amino acids even in highly fluorescing media. A new control strategy based on these online real time measurements would lead to better process yields and fewer failures.

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                          Timegate's instruments connected to the bioreactor.

Timegate is ready for cell cultivation next week

Overall, it has been a wonderful week and a good start for Timegate in the Testa Challenge. For now, timegators are taking the weekend off and letting the cells grow in peace while our instrument is measuring 24/7. We are going sightseeing and visiting Uppsala’s finest restaurants recommended to us by Testa Center's helpful staff.

We will get back to you next Friday with our latest news on cell cultivation, stay tuned! Feel free to comment or ask anything on LinkedIn or Twitter.