A novel continuous bioreactor consists of an outer shell cylinder and inner core cylinder, each with adjustable rotational velocities to control the mixing in the reactor and provide various shear environments. Inlet flows are controlled to provide additional medium and oxygen to the reactor volume. A spiroid is attached to the inside of the bioreactor to increase the gas-liquid contact area and improve oxygen transfer. This bioreactor has dramatic advantages in cell cultivation because of the high cell survival rate, enhanced growth rate, and overall high productivity.
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were successfully performed to describe the range of flow patterns possible in this bioreactor. Simulations are conducted for multiphase fluids with various operating conditions to simulate the actual reaction environment in the bioreactor. Velocity profiles, shear distributions and turbulent energy dissipation were shown to predict the high performance of the bioreactor. In addition, various experiments along with mathematical models were used to calculate the volumetric mass transfer coefficients at different operating conditions for bioreactors with and without the spiroid. The comparison of the results supported the improved performance of the bioreactor with the spiroid. Cell lines were selected for cultivation in the bioreactor.
Key words: computational fluid dynamics, continuous bioreactor, oxygen transfer, cell cultivation
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