Andreas Buchenauer, Mirko C. Hofmann, Matthias Funke, Jochen Büchs, Wilfired Mokwa, Uwe Schnakenberg:
Micro-bioreactors for fed-batch fermentations with integrated online monitoring and microfluidic devices
Biosensors, 2009, 24(5), 1411-1416
In this study an array of micro-bioreactors based on the format of 48-well microtiter plates (MTP) is presented. The process parameters pH-value and biomass are monitored online by a combination of different sensors, the biolector™ measurement technology and conductance measurements. A microfluidic device dispenses two fluids individually into each well for controlling the pH-value of fermentations. The micro-bioreactor consists of four wells and two reservoirs. In each well a polyimide foil with platinum electrodes for conductance measurements is integrated. The microfluidic device is fabricated using softlithographic techniques and utilizes pneumatically actuated microvalves. The device is able to dispense volumes below 5 nl. Finally, fermentations of Escherichia coli are carried out in the micro-bioreactor system. During the fermentation, the pH-value is measured optically and the biomass development is monitored by the scattered light signal. Meanwhile, the pH-value is controlled by dispensing sodium hydroxide and phosphoric acid. This micro-bioreactor demonstrates the possibility of online monitored and pH-controlled fermentations in micro-scale. The pH-value in the uncontrolled culture varies within the range of 6.46–8.83 whereas the pH-value in the controlled cultures can be kept within 6.85–7.07. This results in an increase in biomass in the pH-controlled culture compared to the nearly completely inhibited pH-uncontrolled culture.
microfluidic device, micro-bioreactor, conductance measurement, online monitoring