BelloCell-500 USER MANUAL ver 2.0

High-Density, Disposable
Cell Culture System
Revision 2.0
Feb 14, 2008
1. SAFETY INFORMATION ……………………..………………………... 1
2. PRODUCT SPECIFICATION ……………………………………..…….. 2
3. SYSTEM DESCRIPTION ………………………….……………………. 4
4. CONTROL BOX FEATURES …………………………………….…… 5
5. BELLOCELL® 500 BOTTLE FEATURES ……….……………………... 6
6. BELLOCELL® 500P BOTTLE FEATURES ……….……………………. 7
8. UNPACKING & INSTALLATION …………………………………….... 9
10. OPERATION ……………………………………………………………12
10.1 General Instruction of BelloStage……………..…………………….....12
10.2 Running a Culture………………………………………….…………..15
10.3 Cell Harvest and Sampling ……………………...………………..…22
11. MAINTENANCE. ………………………………………………………28
12. TROUBLING SHOOTING ……………………………………….……29
13. QUESTION AND ANSWER …………………………….…………..…30
14. REFERENCE GUIDE ……………………….……...………………..…32
36, 20 Rd., Taichung Industry Park, Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Telephone: +886-3-5910121 • Fax: +886-3-591-0123 •
Internet: • E-mail:
Copyright Notice
CESCO Bioengineering Co., Ltd.
36, 20th Rd., Taichung Industry Park, Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C.
 Copyright 2008 CESCO Bioengineering Co., Ltd.
All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction, adaptation, or translation without prior written permission from
CESCO Bioengineering is prohibited. The information contained herein is
designed only for use with this product. CESCO Bioengineering is not
responsible for any use of this information as applied to other products.
Neither CESCO Bioengineering nor its affiliates shall be liable to the purchaser
of this product or third parties for damages, losses, costs, or expenses
incurred by the purchaser or third parties as a result of accident, misuse, or
abuse of this product or unauthorized modifications, repairs, or alterations to
this product, or failure to strictly comply with maintenance instructions.
Disclaimer Notice
CESCO Bioengineering Co., Ltd. reserves the right to change information in
this document without notice. Updates to information in this document reflect
our commitment to continuing product development and improvement.
Manual Conventions
Text in bold face type emphasizes key words or
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Notes contain essential information that
deserves special attention.
Caution messages appear before procedures
which, if caution is not observed, could result in
damage to the equipment.
Warning messages alert you to specific
procedures or practices which, if not followed
correctly, could result in serious personal
Biohazard Warnings alert you to user responsibilities
in the handling and disposal of potentially hazardous
biological material.
User’s Guide
CESCO Bioengineering Co., Ltd. warrants that if a product manufactured by
CESCO shall be free of defects in materials including mechanical parts and
electronic parts and other workmanship for one (1) year from the first to occur
of (i) the date the product is sold by CESCO directly or (ii) the date the product
is purchased from authorized distributors by CESCO (the “Commencement date”). Except
as expressly stated above, CESCO makes no other warranty, expressed or implied, with
respect to the products and expressly disclaims any and all warranties, including but not
limited to, warranties of design, merchant ability and fitness for a particular purpose.
An authorized distributor of CESCO must perform all warranty inspections. In the event of
defect covered by CESCO’s warranty, CESCO shall, as its sole obligation and exclusive
remedy, provide free replacement parts to remedy the defective product.
This instrument warranty is not allowed to be transferable. The warranty only applies to the
original purchaser of this instrument and will be null and void in the case of resale, and
possible re-location.
This warranty shall be invalid due to damage caused by accident, misuse, theft, neglect,
natural disaster, use of non-CESCO’s authorized spare parts, illegal disassembly, etc.,
relocation or deterioration caused by application which is not the original purpose to design
this product.
This equipment must be operated as described in this manual. If operational
guidelines are not followed, equipment damage and personal injury can occur.
Please read the entire User’s Guide before attempting to use this unit.
Do not use this equipment in a hazardous atmosphere or with hazardous materials
for which the equipment was not designed.
CESCO Bioengineering Co., Ltd. (CESCO) is not responsible for any damage to this
equipment that may result from the use of an accessory not manufactured by CESCO.
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User’s Guide
Please read this entire instruction manual prior to use the system.
The BelloStage®-3000 system operates on 100 – 230 volts, 50/60 Hz through a desktop
AC transformer.
Note: Ensure that the input voltage listed on the AC Transformer
label is compatible with your line voltage.
Ensure that the input voltage listed on the AC Transformer label is
compatible with your line voltage
Use a properly grounded electrical outlet of correct voltage and current handling
Do not disassemble the BelloStage®-3000 or AC Transformer.
Do not submerge either the BelloStage®-3000 system or BelloCell® in water.
Do not place the control box inside the incubator. The control box is designed to operate
outside the incubator.
The BelloCell ® culture system is for laboratory use only. It is not intended for diagnostic
or therapeutic use in humans or animals.
One BelloCell® is one-time use only. When the experiments are finished, BelloCell®
should be decontaminated and discarded. Consult local institution for detail.
Avoid inserting your hands inside the BelloStage® unit during
Please feel free to contact CESCO Bioengineering Co., Ltd. at
for technical assistance.
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*BelloStage®-3000 Console:
Up-Down Rate
Delay Time
Driver Motor
264 x 359 x 170 m/m W/L/H (10.4 x14 x6.7 inches)
7.0 kg (15.4 lb)
100~230 VOLTS AC, 50/60 Hz (Input); 12 VOLTS DC (Output )
0.25 to 2.0 mm/sec Step of 0.25 mm/sec
0 to 99 min 59 sec. Step of 1.0 sec or 1.0 min.
DC stepping-motor
20 ~ 42
℃, 0 ~ 90% relative humidity ( in a CO
Hi-Low Optical Sensor
Gear set (ratio 1:1.2) and belt
Aluminum alloy, chromic steel
*BelloStage®-3000 Control Box:
137 x 226 x 40 m/m L/W/D (5.4 x 8.9 x 1.6 inches)
1.16 kg (2.6 lb)
100~230 VOLTS AC, 50/60 Hz (Input) ; 12 VOLTS DC (Output )
Room temperature (outside CO2 incubator)
Magnetic backplate, to hold the controller to the side of the incubator
*BelloFeeder®-1300 Pump:
131 x 230 x 61 m/m W/L/H (5.2 x9.1 x2.4 inches)
0.73 kg (1.6 lb)
85~250 VOLTS AC, 50/60 Hz (Input); ~5 A
20 ~ 42
℃, 0 ~ 85% relative humidity ( in a CO
*BelloCell®-500 Bottle:
Working Volume
Carriers Volume
Vent Filter type
Carrier type
H 243 mm
500 ml
Working Volume
Carriers Volume
Vent Filter type
Carrier type
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× Diameter Ø 100 mm
100 ml, 5.5 g
0.22 µm PTFE membrane with PP support
BioNOC II® carriers
*BelloCell®-500P Bottle:
H 243 mm
500 ml
× Diameter Ø 100 mm
100 ml, 5.5 g
0.22 µm PTFE membrane with PP support
BioNOC II® carriers
User’s Guide
Inward-flowing port
Outward-flowing port
10 cm silicon tubing with PP female luer connector
10 cm silicon tubing with PP male luer connector
*BelloCell System Part Numbers:
BelloStage system
BelloCell-500 bottle
BelloCell-500E bottle
BelloCell-500H bottle
BelloCell-500P bottle
BelloCell-500AP bottle
BelloCell-500EP bottle
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Part number
User’s Guide
High-Density Cell Culture System provides a protected, controlled, and
Figure 1. BelloCell Cell Culture System
contained environment for the growth of cell
cultures. The BelloCell High-Density Cell
Culture System consists of three major
components (see Figure 1): a control box, the
disposable 500 ml bottles. The unit fits easily
inside your incubator, while the magnetic
Control box
control box attaches conveniently to an
outside metal incubator wall for easy access.
The BelloStage unit, which holds up to four disposable cell culture bottles, moves the
bottles’ contents up and down according to your program, using a platform to compress and
expand the bellows built into each bottle, to optimize oxygenation. As the platform lifts, it
compresses the bellows, sending the media into the chamber that contains the BioNOC II®
disks; as the platform descends, the media returns to the expanding bellows, exposing the
carrier disks to the atmospheric environment.
Figure 2. BelloCell-500 bottle (2a) and
BelloCell-500P bottle (2b)
BelloCell -500
(see Figure 2a) is
made of disposable plastic materials.
BioNOC II® carriers are packed in the
upper chamber of a BelloCell®-500 unit.
Animal cells are immobilized within
carriers and the culture medium is
moving up and down between the upper
chamber and the bellows by BelloStage®-3000.
BelloCell®-500P (see Figure 2b) not only
perfusion/re-circulation operation through its inlet and outlet ports to stabilize culture
environment and reduce labor efforts.
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Figure 3. BelloStage Control Box
Moving direction (∧
Rate setting
Hold time setting
Power cable
Controller cable
Main power switch
*Button Functional Description:
To start operation
1. Stop operation
2. Switch the setup mode between “Up/T_H” and “Down/B_H” (T_H:
top holding time; B_H: bottom holding time)
Alert mode / Culture time recording/View the BelloStage version
Setup top (T_H) and bottom holding time (B_H) (0~99 mins 59 secs)
before or during operation
Setup up and down speed (0.25 to 2.0 mm/s) before or during
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BelloCell -500 BOTTLE
The following corss-section of the BelloCell bottle (see Figure 4) will acquaint you with its
features and components:
Figure 4. BelloCell Bottle Corss-Section
Locking Ring
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BelloCell -500P BOTTLE
The cross-section of a BelloCell®-500P bottle (see Figure 5) will acquaint you with its
features and components. Basic parts of BelloCell®-500P are the same with those in
BelloCell®-500 besides inward-flowing and outward-flowing connectors.
Figure 5. BelloCell-500P Bottle Perspective Drawing
Female Luer Lock
Male plug
Inward-flowing port
Outward-flowing port
Male Luer Lock
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Female plug
User’s Guide
7 BelloCell -500 &
BelloStage -3000 DIMENSIONS
Figure 6. BelloCell® Bottle Dimension
Figure 7. BelloStage® Dimension
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8.1 Unpacking
After you have received your order, inspect the boxes carefully for any damage
that may have occurred during shipping.
Report any damage, missing pieces immediately
to the carrier and to your local CESCO distributor.
Save all packing materials and this
User’s Guide.
8.2 Packing List Verification
Verify on your packing list that you have received the correct materials. Report any
errors to the carrier or to your local CESCO distributor.
8.3 Environment
The BelloStage unit is designed to operate optimally in the following ambient
20º to 42°C
0 to 90% Relative Humidity (inside a CO2 incubator)
8.4 Electrical Requirements
With the AC transformer provided, the BelloStage system can run on 100-240
Volts, 50 or 60 Hz. You may require an additional adapter to mate the transformer plug to
your electrical supply outlet.
A grounded electrical outlet is necessary for the safe operation of
this instrument.
8.5 Installation (see Figure 8)
1. Connect the controller signal cable on the left side of BelloStage® unit to the control
box at the 9-pin cable junction.
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2. Place the BelloStage® platform inside a humidified CO2 incubator, and leave the
control box outside the incubator.
3. Thread the controller signal cable through an available port or between the door and
door gasket..
4. The control box is magnetized for easy attachment. Position the control box on a
convenient, metallic, outside wall of the incubator.
5. After verifying that your unit’s AC transformer plug mates to your outlet, connect the
power cable from the control box to your power supply outlet. The BelloStage®
platform is ready to use now.
Figure 8. BelloStage Assembly
Always turn off, unplug and remove the BelloStage® unit from the
incubator if you do not plan to use the system for a while.
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User’s Guide
Never place your hands inside the BelloStage® unit during operation.
Never spray alcohol on the BelloCell® bottle cap because it contains
a sterile filter.
Never flame the BelloCell® bottle!
A grounded electrical outlet is necessary for the safe operation of
this instrument.
The exterior surfaces of the BelloStage® unit and controller are
coated with an anti-rust material. Never use any abrasive materials
and be careful not to scratch the exterior finish.
The user is responsible for following local guidelines for handling hazardous waste
and biohazardous materials that may be generated from the use of this equipment.
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User’s Guide
10.1 General Instruction of BelloStage®:
Take a moment to acquaint yourself with the use of the controller keypad, to set up
operating parameters before operation begins and to see how to change operating
parameters during a run.
10.1.1. Before operation:
(1). Press the STOP key to switch between the “Up/T_H” and “Down/B_H” in the
display, whre T_H means Top Holding time and B_H means Bottom Holding
time (see Figures 9 & 10).
Figure 9:
Main Screen—Rising Platform
1.5 mm/s
T_H: 02 M 10 S
Figure 10:
Main Screen—Descending Platform
Down: 1.5 mm/s
B_H: 01 M 05 S
(2). Press the
””or ”” part of the RATE key to change platform rising and
lowering speed. Eight moving speed are available, in increments of 0.25, from
0.25 to 2.0 mm/s
(3). Press the ””or ”” part of the DELAY key to change the platform holding time
at the top (compressed bellows) and bottom (extended bellows) positions.
Holding time can be set from 0 to 99 minutes and 59 seconds. To set minutes,
press and hold either DELAY arrow key; to set seconds, press either DELAY
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User’s Guide
arrow key in short bursts.
(4). Start and stop
Press START to begin culture process. Press STOP to terminate culture
(5). Press the TIME RESET key to change the display between “Total Time”, “Alert
Mode” and the current BelloStage system version.
In the “Total Time” display, press the “Time Reset” key and hold it down
for 3 seconds to reset the time record to zero.
In the “Alert Mode” display, press the ””or ”” part of the DELAY key to
change alarm mode.
- In “30 seconds” mode, alarm will keep beeping for 30 seconds.
- In “Continuous” mode, the alarm will keep beeping until the “STOP” key is
10.1.2. During operation
To change the platform rising and lowering speed, press the or part
of the RATE key.
As the platform is rising, you can change the rising rate;
and as the platform is descending, you can change the lowering rate.
To change the platform holding time at the top (compressed bellows) and
bottom (extended bellows) positions, press the or part of the DELAY
As the platform is rising, you can change the upper holding time
(T_H); and as the platform is descending, you can change the lower
holding time (B_H). While the platform is holding, you cannot change the
hold time.
Press the TIME RESET key to check the culture time in the Total Time or
the Alert Mode display, but you cannot change the values during operation.
Press the STOP key to stop platform movement; the platform will by
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User’s Guide
default return to its lowest position, leaving the bottle bellows extended.
10.1.3 Stopping a Run
At any time during a run, you can stop the BelloStage unit by pressing the STOP
key on the controller. The moving plate will go down to the bottom position. A
“Return to Base Waiting…” will be displayed in the LCD screen (see Figure 11).
Two “BEEP” sound appeared indicate the termination of the operation.
Figure 11. Display after pressing STOP key
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10.2 Running a Culture
10.2.1 Running a Culture in BelloCell®-500
Be sure to read Sections 10 before taking any action to prepare
for or to run a culture.
Never spray alcohol on the BelloCell® bottle cap because it
contains a sterile filter.
Never flame the neck of the BelloCell® bottle.
Step 1. Remove a fresh BelloCell®-500 or BelloCell®-500P bottle from its bag. It is already
sterilized for use. Place the BelloCell® unit in a bio-safety cabinet. Aseptically
remove the cap and fill in 470 ml pre-warmed culture medium. Tilt the bottle to send
all the media down into the bellows chamber.
Figure 12. Adding Media to BelloCell® Bottle
500 ml
400 ml
300 ml
200 ml
100 ml
Step 2.
450 ml
350 ml
250 ml
150 ml
50 ml
Aseptically open the cap, and – directly on top of the BioNOC® II disks, working in
a spiral from the center- dispense 30 ml cell suspension containing a total of 1 x
108 ~ 2.0 x 108 live cells. Close and tighten the cap.
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Figure 13. Inoculation to BelloCell® Bottle
Step 3.
Bring the bottle to BelloStage® unit in the incubator, making sure the blue ring
locks in place. Turn on the controller by pressing the red ON/OFF button. Set up
the moving rate and holding time parameters for immobilization. Push “ START ”
button to progress inoculation procedure.
Figure 14. Loading BelloCell® Bottle in Unit
Do not delay: start operation immediately after inoculation.
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pH is critical at this point. After inoculation, make sure that any added
media has a pH of 7.0-7.2 if the media contains sodium bicarbonate. CO2 concentration
should be maintained between 5-10% in the incubator. Abnormal pH range will retard the
immobilization efficiency.
Step 4.
After 2~5 hours, reset the moving rate (Rate) and holding time (T_H, B_H)
parameters for culture.
Increase top-holding time allows more nutrient exchange between bulk
medium solution and medium carriers. Increase top-holding time can also reduce oxygen
level if the condition prefers low dissolved oxygen.
Increase bottom-holding time will increase the oxygen level during culture.
Increase bottom-holding time can also help to stabilize the pH.
Recommended inoculation densities per bottle
Cell Type
Inoculation density (cells/bottle)
CHO, VERO, BHK, C-127, RK-13, Hela
Hybridoma, NS0, Sf-9, Hi-5, Sf-21, HEK-293
Recommended Operating Parameters
Cell Culture
20 secs
10 secs
1 min~30 mins
*for the first 2~5 hours following inoculation
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10.2.2 Running a Culture in BelloCell®-500P
Cell inoculation procedure is the same as Section 10.2.1 BelloCell®-500
Sterilize the tubing set and reservoir vessel by autoclaving at 121℃, 30
mins prior for use.
Connect the tubing set with BelloCell-500P bottle and start pumping after
48~72 hours culture according to the figure 15 shown below.
Figure 15. BelloCell-500P Bottle Assembly
Sampling Port
ID, Female Luer Lock
Female Luer Lock
Male Luer Lock
Tee Reduction Connector, 1/8" to 1/16"
Male Luer Lock
Female Luer Lock
pump head
Media level
(~2200 ml)
Hook to BelloFeeder pump
2 L vessel
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1. Prior to connect to BelloCell-500P bottle, fill the culture medium into the reservoir vessel
and remain the headspace in the reservoir to be as little as possible. (Large headspace
(> 500 ml) will cause variation of the medium level in BelloCell)
No matter what’s the volume of the vessel, keep the headspace in the
vessel below 500 ml after fill with culture medium.
2. Make sure the cap in the reservoir vessel is firmly capped and air tight.
Any leakage from the cap will cause contamination and break the balance
during medium recirculation.
3. Make the connection as the suggested drawing
4. Plug the pump head onto BelloFeeder pump. (please refer to BelloFeeder-1300 Pump
Quick Reference Sheet)
5. Initial pumping rate should be around 500 ml to 1000 ml per day, and gradually increases
to 1999 ml/day according to the glucose level.
6. Take samples through the sample ports by syringe.
Sampling Media for BelloCell-500
1. To take a sample, if one is needed, press the STOP key to stop the
platform and, by default, send it back to its lowest position.
2. Unlock the BelloCell® bottle and remove it from the unit.
3. Wipe the BelloCell® bottle with a 70% alcohol solution, but do not spray
alcohol on the cap because it contains a filter.
4. Aseptically open the cap, tilt the bottle slightly and pipette out the desired
amount of sample through the central hole in the BioNOC® II chamber (see
Figure 4).
5. Close the cap tightly and reinstall the bottle in the BelloStage® unit, locking
it in place, then press the START key again.
Sampling Media For BelloCell®-500P
Use sterilized syringe and withdraw samples through silicon plug of the sampling port.
Withdraw 1.0 ml medium or more for analysis.
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Block the sampling tubing first by slide clamps before draw out
needle to avoid back-flow of the culture medium..
10.2.5 Adjusting pH Level
The CO2 concentration in the incubator may have to be adjusted manually to
control the pH level of the BelloCell® bottle’s contents. A good rule of thumb
is that while the glucose concentration in the bottle is still sufficient and the
media color has turned orange-yellow, it is time to adjust the CO2
concentration to a lower percentage.
10.2.6 Media Replenishment For BelloCell®-500
A general guideline is to replenish media once every day or two, beginning on the
third day following inoculation. The frequency depends on residual glucose
concentration and pH in the culture media.
Whenever there is a need to change the culture media, follow the procedure in
Section 10.2.4 above for aseptically taking a sample, but use the pipette to
remove all of the media. Then add 470 ml of fresh media (30 ml of conditioned
media usually remains in the bottle). Return the bottle to the BelloStage® unit
and press the START key to resume the run.
10.2.7 Media Replenishment For BelloCell®-500P
1. Turn off BelloFeeder® pump and BelloStage®-3000.
3. Block medium flow by clamps in both in- and out-flow tubings. Separate pump head
from BelloFeeder® pump module (please check Step-by-Step Instruction for details).
and place the BelloCell-500P, medium reservoir and the tubing set inside a biosafety
4. Prepare a reservoir containing fresh culture medium. Open and move the cap set from the
conditioned to the new reservoir and close it tight.
5. Place the BelloCell®-500P, pump head and medium reservoir together inside the
incubator again and insert the pump head into the rotary shaft of BelloFeeder® pump.
Loosen the clamps on the tubing. Turn on the BelloStage®-3000 and BelloFeeder® pump.
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Before turn on BelloFeeder pump module, both the slide clamps on the in
and out-flow tubing must be loosened !!
10.2.8 Monitoring Glucose*
You can measure the glucose residue in a sample of the media from time to
time to determine whether the media should be renewed. You can also
calculate the Glucose Uptake Rate (GUR) to monitor the cell growth rate; the
GUR value should be proportional to the total cell volume. To calculate GUR,
use this equation:
GUR = (CGlu, t2 – CGlu, t1) x Vsolu / (t2 – t1)
GUR is the Glucose Uptake Rate in mg/hour
CGlu is the concentration of residual glucose
t1 & t2 are the sampling hours
Vsolu is the volume of media in liters
* Cesco Bioengineering also provides GlucCell glucose meter and kits for your convenience to
measure glucose concentration during culture. Please refer to Section 15. Options for BelloCell
Cell Culture System.
We recommend that you maintain the glucose concentration at more than
1000 mg/L.
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10.3 Cell Harvest and Sampling
Sampling of BioNOC II Carriers
The BelloCell® bottle is equipped with a sampling port (see Figure 16). The rotating
BelloCell® chamber can be turned to allow sampling of carriers anyplace in the chamber.
To sample BioNOC® II disks:
1. Press the STOP key on the controller to return the platform to its bottom position
and to halt operation.
2. Unlock the BelloCell® bottle from the unit and aseptically open the cap.
3. Tilt the bottle toward you until you can see the sampling window (see Figure 16).
4. Aseptically push against the sampling window with the tip of a sterilized forceps,
then pick the carriers.
5. Place the selected carriers in a sterilized vessel.
6. Use the tip of the same forceps to rotate the sampling window as necessary to
obtain all the desired carriers.
Figure 16. BelloCell® Sampling Window
(view from top of BelloCell® bottle, cap removed)
10.3.2 Observing Cells
To observe a sample of cells under a light microscope:
1. Aseptically remove a few BioNOC® II disks from the carrier disk chamber,
following the aseptic instructions in Section 10.3.1 above.
2. Dehydrate and fix the cells in their carriers using EtOH 70% dehydration or 99.5%
EtOH dehydration for 5 minutes.
3. Wash off the EtOH twice, using either DI water or PBS.
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4. Stain the cells with hematoxylin, crystal violet or coomassie brilliant blue G dye for
5-10 minutes.
5. Wash off the excess dye with DI water.
6. Observe the cells in your light microscope (see Figures 17a and 17b).
The user is responsible for following local guidelines for handling hazardous waste
and biohazardous materials that may be generated from the use of this equipment.
Figure 17a. Hi-5 Cells in BioNOC II disks
(Stained with hematoxylin)
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Figure 17b. HEK293 Cells in BioNOC II disks
(Stained with hematoxylin)
User’s Guide
Counting Cells Crystal Violet Nucleus Count Method
One method to count cells is to randomly pick six BioNOC® II disks from the carrier
disk chamber, following the aseptic instructions in Section 10.3.1 above, and to then
follow this procedure:
Aseptically place the carriers, two per vial, into three 1.5 ml Eppendorf vials.
Add 1 ml CVD nucleus counting kit (provided with your BelloStage® system).
Vortex the vials for approximately one minute.
Incubate the vials in the CO2 incubator at 37°C for two hours, vortexing the
vials every 30 minutes during the incubation period.
5. Count the nuclei in the solution using a hemocytometer (see Figure 18).
6. Average the cell count per carrier, then multiply that average value times 860
(the average number of BioNOC® II disks in a BelloCell® bottle) to calculate
the probable cell population.
This is not an accurate method to assess cell viability..
Figure 18. Nuclei of Vero Cells (Stained
with crystal violet dye)
Nuclei show bright
purple color and oval
shape in phase
contract microscope Counting Cells by Trypsinization
Another method to count cells is to randomly pick six BioNOC® II disks from the
carrier disk chamber, following the aseptic instructions in Section 10.3.1 above, and
to then follow this procedure:
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Aseptically place the carriers, two per vial, into three 1.5 ml Eppendorf vials.
Add 1 ml PBS/EDTA (0.02%) to the vial, and wash the carriers by inversion 2~3
Remove the PBS/EDTA. Repeat the wash at least twice.
Add 1 ml trypsin (0.05% trypsin/0.02% EDTA) to the vial.
Incubate at 37°C for 10 mins.
Flick the vial 10 more times by fingers until the solution becomes turbid.
Count the cells and viability with trypan blue dye exclusive method in the solution
using a hemocytometer.
Average the cell count per carrier, then multiply that average value times 860
(the average number of BioNOC® II disks in a BelloCell® bottle) to calculate the
probable cell population.
Cell count might not be accurate if cells cannot release from the
carrier efficiently.
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10.3.4 Harvesting Cells
The user is responsible for following local guidelines for handling hazardous waste
and biohazardous materials that may be generated from the use of this equipment.
When the culture run is terminated, users may want to harvest cells or cell components for
use elsewhere. One solution is to disassemble BelloCell®-500 bottle by BOTTLE OPENER*
to BioNOC® II carriers, and then harvest the cells or cell components either by adding lysis
buffer or freeze-thaw procedure. *Bottle Opener can be purchased from CESCO Bioengineering.
The above harvesting procedure is not aseptic
For aseptic cell harvest cells or cell components aseptically, we recommend the following
1. Discard the culture media from the BelloCell®-500 bottle. Observe proper handling
and disposal procedures if the media contains potentially biohazardous material.
2. Add 500 ml of pre-warmed PBS/EDTA to the BelloCell® bottle.
Install the bottle in
the BelloStage unit. Program the Up/Down Rate at 2.0 mm/s and start the START key.
Stop the compression after 5 mins; remove the bottle and asceptically open it to
discard the washing solution.
3. Repeat step 2 twice more at least..
4. Add 400 ml* of pre-warmed trypsin/EDTA solution (0.05%/0.02%) to the bottle;
Incubate for 10~15 mins. *CESCO provides CELL DISSOCIATION SUPPORTER to reduce
trypsin requirement to 250 ml.
5. Aseptically discard the enzymatic solution, and incubate for 10~15 mins more.
6. Tap the bottle sharply against your palm or a soft, round counter edge, at the matrix
chamber level, for 3 ~5 minutes, to force cells to release from the carriers and the
matrices they have created.
CESCO Bioengineering
User’s Guide
Add 500 ml Culture medium or PBS containing FBS or trypsin inhibitor to the bottle.
8. Install the bottle on BelloStage® in a CO2 incubator. Run the unit for 2~3 mins at the
Up/Down rate at 2.0 mm/s.
9. Remove the bottle and aseptically harvest the cell-laden solution, and then harvest
the cells by centrifuging the solution.
10. Repeat step 6-9 at least three times until the cell residue harvested falls below the
desired concentration.
Because of the high cell density, cell-laden solution may contain
many extra-cellular matrices. But it can be separated from cells by
CESCO Bioengineering
User’s Guide
Periodic maintenance is essential to the proper operation of your BelloStage® system.
11.1 Cleaning
Periodically clean the BelloStage® unit and controller by wiping the outside surfaces
with a soft cloth moistened with a 70% alcohol solution.
The exterior surfaces of the BelloStage unit and controller are
coated with an anti-rust material. Never use any abrasive materials
and be careful not to scratch the exterior finish.
11.2 Maintenance
We recommend that you grease the BelloStage® unit’s platform ball screw (see
Figure 19a) once every three months, to keep it operating smoothly:
1. Turn off and unplug the BelloStage® unit.
2. Remove the unit from your incubator.
3. Slowly and carefully apply approximately 0.5 ml of grease, using a user-supplied
syringe, to the platform ball screw, from the bottom up (see Figure 19a).
4. Make note on the maintenance card (see Figure 19b)
Figure 19a. Greasing the Ball Screw
Figure 19b. Recording after Maintenance
Ball screw
CESCO Bioengineering
User’s Guide
Cells could keep activity even have been shut down for over night. Please
try to turn on the machine or change the bottles to another equipment immediately.
Continuous alarm, platform
fail to move in the unit
Possible Cause
1. Rust on the ball screw
cause resistance to the
platform movement
2. Malfunction of the step
3. Loosen on signal cable
between control box and
the BelloStage unit.
1. Remove the rust and
grease the ball screw. Be
sure to grease the ball
screw every 3 months.
Remove the BelloStage
unit from the incubator if
not use for a while.
2. Replace the step motor.
3. Make sure the 9-pin signal
cable between control box
and platform unit is well
Platform can not reach the
upper limit
Controller looks normal, but
unit cease movement
Random codes on Display,
but unit operates normal
1. Failure on the upper limit
optical sensor
1. Clean the upper limit optical
sensor. Make sure no dirt on
the sensor surface
1. Burn down of the 6V
DC-DC circuit
1. Replace the 6V DC-CD
2. Malfunction of the step
2. Replace the step motor
1. Signal transfer between
LCM and CPU abnormal
1. Reset and restart
2. Noise from other electrical
Control box can not hold on
the incubator
2. Try to use single power
source of the equipment
1. Dirt between the magnetic 1. Clean up the dirt
backplate and the incubator 2. Find a smooth and flat
2. Wall surface of the
incubator is not flat
3. Wall surface is inert to
3. Find a surface made by
iron or steel.
Keypad failure
Keypad failure
Change keypad
If you are unable to solve the above problems, please contact local CESCO distributor or
CESCO Bioengineering
User’s Guide
Question & Answer
1.Q: Can I harvest cells after culture?
A: Yes, you can harvest cells after culture terminated. BelloCell®-500 can be
disassembled and the carrier box can be taken out for this purpose. You can also
harvest cells aseptically without disassemble the bottle. Please refer to the instruction
manual for detail instruction.
2.Q: How can I observe cell growth on the carriers?
A: The carriers are made of porous nonwoven fabrics. The common staining solution is
hematoxylin, coomassie brilliant blue G, etc. Please follow the instruction manual for
each staining application. Then you can see the cell morphology in carriers under a
3.Q: Can I take out carriers for sampling during culture?
A: Yes. BelloCell®-500 model is equipped with a sampling window on the carrier box.
With long-arm forceps, users can take out carriers through aseptic techniques during
4. Q: Can I count the cell population during culture?
A: Yes. After take out carriers through aseptic techniques during culture, users can
measure the cell population through crystal violet dye nuclear count method. Each
BelloCell bottle contains 865±5% carriers. User can estimate the total cell population
by timing back the total carrier number. Cesco also provide CVD nucleus count kit.
5.Q:Can I culture cells by using serum-free medium in BelloCell?
CESCO Bioengineering
User’s Guide
A: Most serum-free media can be applied to BelloCell culture. If the medium allows cells
to attach or partially attach (50% suspend, 50% attach) on typical T-flasks, then it
should be able to be used in the BelloCell®-500 system. However, for loosely
attached cells, we recommend to use BelloCell®-500P instead of BelloCell®-500.
6.Q: What is the BioNOC II carriers in BelloCell ?
A: BioNOC® II carriers are made by FDA approved 100% PET fabrics. They were
processed through a special surface treatment to make it biocompatible. The carriers
provide around 2,400 cm2/g specific surface area for cell growth. One BelloCell®
contains 5.5 g of the BioNOC® II carriers.
7.Q: Can I obtain BioNOC® II carriers solely for other purposes?
A: Yes, you can purchase BioNOC® II carriers. They can be applied to our TideCell®
bioreactor or other packed-bed type bioreactors.
8.Q: Can I reuse BelloCell® ?
A: BelloCell® is designed for one time use only, and it cannot be sterilized by autoclaving.
Reuse BelloCell® is not recommended. A BelloCell® can sustain cell growth for
months without causing distortion or contamination with an appropriate and aseptic
9.Q: Can I use BelloCell for long-term culture?
A: BelloCell has passed the test of 200,000 times compression, which is equal to 3
months at the highest speed or 33 month at the lowest speed. Since the cells are
immobilized in the carrier box, user can culture the cells as long as providing them
enough nutrients.
CESCO Bioengineering
User’s Guide
Reference Guide
The patented BelloCell® contains two chambers: the upper chamber contains a porous
fibrous matrix mounted inside where the cells are embedded; the lower chamber contains a
compressible bellows and has culture medium inside. The BelloStage® compresses the
lower bellows in order to expel the culture medium out of the lower chamber and raise the
culture medium level to submerge the matrix in the upper chamber.
Alternatively, the
BelloStage®-3000 lowers compressible bellows in order to lower the culture medium level to
expose the matrix to the air.
The matrix containing carriers packed in the culture vessel is
thus exposed and submerged in the culture medium alternatively controlled by the moving
rate of the platform of BelloStage® (see Figure 21).
During the exposing phase (see Figure
20), the cells embedded in the porous carriers will not expose directly to the gaseous
environment but through a thin liquid film as shown in the following schematic diagram.
Not only this would not cause the damage of the culture cells, but also facilitate the most
efficient oxygen transfer from air to the cells. During the submerging phase (see Figure 20),
the cells expose to the new liquid surface and facilitate the uptake of nutrients from the
medium (such as glucose, glutamine and growth factors, etc.) and removal of the wastes
(such as ammonium, lactic acid, etc.) from the cells.
Figure 20. Cross-Section view of liquid (left) and gas (right) transfer across the
carriers and cells
Nutrition profile
O2 profile
Bulk solution
Cells in
CESCO Bioengineering
Cells in
Liquid film
Gas phase
User’s Guide
Oxygen transfer limitation is always the threshold of achieving high cell density in cell
In the stirring tank bioreactor system with or without use microcarriers, it requires
high air sparging and agitation rate to achieve high oxygen transfer but it also generates
high shear stress and foaming problem, which are detrimental to animal cells. The hollow
fiber bioreactor system is designed to generate lower shear stress and perform perfusion
culture, but it requires exterior oxygenation system and high circulation rate to provide
sufficient oxygen supply.
Furthermore, the axial non-uniform distribution of cells and
proteins along extracapillary (EC) space because of convective flow in EC may result in
serious sedimentation and poor oxygen transfer.
Some commercial packed bed bioreactor
system is designed on basis of airlifting principle combined with modified impeller to
promote gentle liquid circulation through annular packed bed with low shear stress but good
oxygen transfer.
However, the height of packed bed limits the industrial scale-up capability
for this type of bioreactors.
In order to minimize the disadvantages and retain the
advantages of the commercialized bioreactors aforementioned, CESCO Bioengineering Co.
has developed BelloCell® and TideCell® bioreactors.
In BelloCell® and TideCell® a
massive oxygenating surface area was created with simple medium movement relative to
the cell embedded in matrix for highly efficient oxygen transfer without any agitation and air
BelloCell® is a disposable bioreactor mainly designed for simple, efficient and
economical laboratory use while TideCell® was for pilot and production plant application.
Figure 21. Diagram showing the nutrition and aeration phase during culture in
BelloCell system
CESCO Bioengineering
User’s Guide
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