Minnesota Rubber and Plastics brings expertise to disruptive design of cell culture device

G-Rex cell culture device

Design for manufacturing (DFM) and liquid silicone rubber molding expertise from Minnesota Rubber and Plastics (Minneapolis, MN) was instrumental in the development of a line of breakthrough cell culture products. The disruptive G-Rex device marketed by Wilson Wolf (St. Paul, MN) is described as the easiest and fastest way to generate the most cells in the least amount of space. It can turn 300 million cells into 100 billion cells in just 11 days, according to the company.

The G-Rex process begins by adding cells and a large volume of media into the device, explained Wilson Wolf. The incubator is set in oxygen from ambient air, and CO2 from the media is exchanged through a gas permeable membrane. Cells obtain oxygen and nutrients on demand, eliminating the need for media exchange, shaking or rolling. The cultured cells are collected by withdrawing 90% of the media volume and removing the cells.  

G-Rex cell culture device
The G-Rex device can turn 300 million cells into 100 billion cells in just 11 days.

An FDA-registered Class 1 medical device, the proprietary G-Rex technology leads to powerful therapies, according to Wilson Wolf, and is now available to the medical community in multiple sizes and packaged quantities.

Minnesota Rubber and Plastics facilitated the unique design with a molded, assembled and packaged G-Rex branded product ready for the medical marketplace.

The use of DFM in a collaboration between Wilson Wolf  and Minnesota Rubber engineers resulted in the elimination of several components and improved the overall design and final product cost, according to a press release. The G-Rex 100 Series set the stage for a complete line of cell culture products.

G-Rex cell culture device
Key to the G-Rex device is a thin liquid silicone rubber membrane.

Key to the G-Rex gas-permeable cell culture process is a thin liquid silicone rubber (LSR) membrane molded by Minnesota Rubber and Plastics. In the device, the LSR membrane provides convection nutrient transport (not diffusion), generating the most cell cultures in the least amount of space. Convection enables maximum cell growth with uninterrupted access to nutrients.

The G-Rex LSR membrane is contained in a four- component thermoplastic assembly consisting of an incubator shelf and high-nutrient-capacity bottle, supported by a ring at the base and a cap at the top.

All molding, assembly and packaging operations are done in Minnesota Rubber and Plastics’ ISO 13485 Class 7 and 8 cleanrooms.

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