Frank Kensy, Hartmut F. Zimmermann, Ingo Knabben, Tibor Anderlei, Harald Trauthwein, Uwe Dingerdissen, Jochen Büchs:
Oxygen transfer phenomena in 48-well microtiter plates: determination by optical monitoring of sulfite oxidation and verification by real-time measurement during microbial growth
Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 2005, 89(6), 698-708
Oxygen limitation is one of the most frequent problems associated with the application of shaking bioreactors. The gas-liquid oxygen transfer properties of shaken 48-well microtiter plates (MTPs) were analyzed at different filling volumes, shaking diameters, and shaking frequencies. On the one hand, an optical method based on sulfite oxidation was used as a chemical model system to determine the maximum oxygen transfer capacity (OTRmax). On the other hand, the Respiration Activity Monitoring System (RAMOS) was applied for online measurement of the oxygen transfer rate (OTR) during growth of the methylotropic yeast Hansenula polymorpha. A proportionality constant between the OTRmax of the biological system and the OTRmax of the chemical system were indicated from these data, offering the possibility to transform the whole set of chemical data to biologically relevant conditions. The results exposed "out of phase" shaking conditions at a shaking diameter of 1 mm, which were confirmed by theoretical consideration with the phase number (Ph). At larger shaking diameters (2-50 mm) the oxygen transfer rate in MTPs shaken at high frequencies reached values of up to 0.28 mol/L/h, corresponding to a volumetric mass transfer coefficient (k(L)a) of 1,600 1/h. The specific mass transfer area (a) increases exponentially with the shaking frequency up to values of 2,400 1/m. On the contrary, the mass transfer coefficient (k(L)) is constant at a level of about 0.15 m/h over a wide range of shaking frequencies and shaking diameters. However, at high shaking frequencies, when the complete liquid volume forms a thin film on the cylindric wall of the well, the mass transfer coefficient (k(L)) increases linearly to values of up to 0.76 m/h. Essentially, the present investigation demonstrates that the 48-well plate outperforms the 96-well MTP and shake flasks at widely used operating conditions with respect to oxygen supply. The 48-well plates emerge, therefore, as an excellent alternative for microbial cultivation and expression studies combining the advantages of both the high-throughput 96-well MTP and the classical shaken Erlenmeyer flask. (C) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.