Typical Cultivation Parameters for Cell Cultures

Getting started with cell culture can seem like an overwhelming step: cells are sensitive to shear stress, have a high risk of contamination and are very demanding concerning the right choice of process parameters. Check our blog post for all you need to start shaking or running your bioreactor with mammalian cells, insect cells and plant cells.

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1. Mammalian cells

Proteins obtained from mammalian cells play an important role in the biotech industry for manufacturing therapeutic medicines. The best known mammalian cells are HEK (human embryonic kidney) cells, which are relatively easy to handle. CHO cell lines from the ovaries of the Chinese hamster are one of the most frequently used cell lines for manufacturing therapeutic agents.


Typical cultivation parameters for mammalian cells:


ParameterTemperatureMixing rateCultivation timepHpO2

Shaker37 °C40 – 120 min–196 h+

Bioreactor37 °C40 – 150 min–17 – 70 days7.230 – 50%

2. Insect cells

Insect cell cultures are often used for research into recombinant proteins, i.e., those produced using genetic engineering methods. Compared to mammalian cells, insect cells are less susceptible to contamination and are unlikely to contain human viruses. The best-known cell lines are Sf9 and Sf21, which are isolated from moth tissues.


Typical cultivation parameters of insect cells:


ParametersTemperatureMixing rateCultivation timepHpO2

Shaker27 – 28 °C100 – 140 min–1129 h

Bioreactor27 – 28 °C100 – 140 min–14 – 8 days6.15 – 6.2525 – 50%


3. Plant cells

Plant cells have omnipotent properties, which means that they are able to regenerate to complete intact plants. . For this reason, they are often used for studying differentiation processes in biology. Proteins with pharmacological activity and antibodies can be derived from plant cell lines as well. Tobacco plants, for example, are especially popular as a fast, economical alternative to mammalian cells in the production of vaccines.


Typical cultivation parameters of plant cells:


ParametersTemperatureMixing rateCultivation timepHpO2

Shaker20 – 28 °C100 – 200 min–196 h+h

Bioreactor20 – 28 °C100 – 200 min–14 – 6 days5.8 – 621 – 50%


4. Culture medium

Most often commercial, premixed culture media only containing defined chemicals are applied for cell culture processes. This has mainly two reasons: Cell cultivation is often performed for producing drugs in the pharmaceutical area, where you must provide precise details on what the medium contains. With complex media, however, this would not be possible. Secondly, using premade sterile culture media is also a way of reducing the risk of contamination.


5. The Cookbook – A guide for biotech beginners

No one is born a bioprocessing expert. Our cookbook provides a step-by-step introduction to bioprocessing. We’ll explain how a bioreactor works and what happens during a bioprocess. We also look at the basics of a bioprocess and offer strategies you can use to make your application a success. And we take a look at the stars of the show: the various microorganisms and cell cultures. Like any good cookbook, this document comes with recipes. Except that these recipes are designed to give you the best possible cell cultivation. Clear instructions, an overview of the expected outcome and some tips ought to help you achieve your goal.


  • Bioreactor basics
  • Bioprocess basics
  • Setting up, preparing, and carrying out a bioprocess
  • Bioprocess strategies
  • Application examples & recipies
  • Tips for a successful bioprocess

The cookbook is available for download on the Minfors 2 product page. Prefer something you can hold in your hand? We’ll be happy to send you printed copies. Place an order simply by sending us an email at marketing@infors-ht.com.



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Green Hendry
Green Hendry

Thank you so much for sharing such useful information over here with us. This is really a great blog have you written. I really enjoyed reading your article. I will be looking forward to reading your next post.

Abhilash Kumar Tripathi
Abhilash Kumar Tripathi

Good Information.

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learnto upgrade

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Hariharan KA
Hariharan KA

provide the cook book for my reference