Proof-of-concept of a novel micro-bioreactor for fast development of industrial bioprocesses

N. Reis, C. N. Gonçalves, A. A. Vicente, J. A. Teixeira

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35 Citations (SciVal)


The experimental performance of a novel micro-bioreactor envisaged for parallel screening and development of industrial bioprocesses has been tested in this work. The micro-bioreactor with an internal volume of 4.5 mL is operated under oscillatory flow mixing (OFM), where a controllable mixing and mass transfer rates are achieved under batch or continuous laminar flow conditions. Several batch fermentations with a flocculent Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain were carried out at initial glucose concentrations (S0) range of ∼5-20 g/L and compared to yeast growth kinetics in a stirred tank (ST) bioreactor. Aerobic fermentations were monitored ex situ in terms of pH, DO, glucose consumption, and biomass and ethanol production (wherever applicable). An average biomass production increase of 83% was obtained in the micro-bioreactor when compared with the ST, with less 93.6% air requirements. It also corresponded to a 214% increase on biomass production when compared with growth in a shaken flask (SF) at S0 = 20 g/L. Further anaerobic fermentations at the same initial glucose concentration ranges gave the opportunity to use state-of-the-art fiber optics technology for on-line and real-time monitoring of this bioprocess. Time profiles of biomass concentration (measured as optical density (OD)) were very similar in the ST bioreactor and in the micro-bioreactor, with a highly reproducible yeast growth in these two scale-down platforms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-753
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2006


  • Biomass production
  • Fermentations
  • Novel micro-bioreactor
  • Oscillatory flow mixing
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Scale-down

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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