This invention specifically relates to an interchangeable sleeve that encompasses a rotating, substantially cylindrical bioreactor. The sleeve supplies a time-varying electromagnetic force of from 0.05 to 0.5 gauss to the culture chamber of the bioreactor in order to increase cell growth and proliferation within the rotating bioreactor. The sleeve comprises a substantially cylindrical and rigid, electrically conductive material wound in a cylindrical shape, and is capable of being connected to a pulsating, time-varying electromagnetic current.

The motor housing is supported by the base. The motor is attached inside the housing and is connected by wires to a control box that manages the speed at which the motor runs. The speed can be incrementally controlled by turning the control knob, and the motor shaft extends through the housing parallel to the plane of the Earth at the location of the bioreactor. A longitudinal cylinder is connected to the shaft, and the outside of the cylinder is wound with a wire coil. The size of the wire and the number of times it is wound around the cylinder are such that, when the square wave current of from 0.1 mA to 1000 mA is supplied to the wire coil, an electromagnetic field of from 0.05 gauss to 6 gauss is generated within the cylinder. The wire coil is connected with wires to rings at the end of the shaft. These rings are connected in such a manner so the cylinder can rotate while the current is constantly supplied to the coil. The electromagnetic generating device supplies a square wave to the wires and coil by adjusting its output by turning the knob.

In operation, the cylinder is opened and the cell culture is placed inside. The speed of the cylinder is adjusted visually so that the cell culture substantially remains at or about the longitudinal axis of the cylinder. The electromagnetic generating device is turned on and adjusted so that the square wave output generates the desired electromagnetic field. The rotating speed of the culture chamber prevents cells inside of it from substantially contacting the sides of the chamber. The interchangeable sleeve is the means for controlling the temperature in the chamber.

This work was done by Paolo Decuzzi and Mauro Ferrari of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston for Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the JSC Innovation Partnerships Office at (281) 483-3809.

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:

Office of Technology Management
The University of Texas
Health Science Center at Houston
7000 Fannin Street, Suite 720
Houston, TX 77030

Refer to MSC-24527-1.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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