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Magnetic Levitation Technology for Stirred Bioreactors: Integration and Evaluation

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Stirred bioreactors are the most commonly used bioreactors in biopharmaceutical production. Traditionally, the stirrer is driven by a shaft, which always bears a certain risk of contamination. The newly developed stirred bioreactor, which is magnetically driven by the Levitronix® PuraLev® i30 pump drive, offers an alternative here. This enables a non-contact and magnetically driven stirrer reducing the risk of contamination and offering a wide speed range.

Typically, the bioreactor design differs in its field of application for cell cultures and microbial organisms to fulfill the different requirements. With the help of the newly developed system, it is possible to achieve comparable to better cultivation results compared to commercially available bioreactors for both of the aforementioned areas of application.

CFD simulations for process characterization were carried out as a first step. With this resource-saving method, various setups could be examined and suitable designs pre-selected. Selected designs were then further characterized with prototypes in the laboratory using conventional process engineering characterization methods (mixing time, power input, oxygen transfer, etc.). Finally, the resulting system was biologically evaluated and compared with commercially available bioreactors. Both CHO cell lines and an Escherichia coli strain were used.

Author Cedric Schirmer
Company ZHAW