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Quick Tech News


by Alexander Fäh

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Revolution in Bioprocessing: 3D Printing Enables Fully Instrumented Mini Bioreactor

  • A mini bioreactor, developed through 3D printing, allows precise real-time growth monitoring.

  • Additive manufacturing opens the possibility of creating radiation-sterilizable, single-use bioreactors.

  • The study emphasizes the potential of 3D printing in bioreactor manufacturing and the adaptation of geometry based on experimenter needs.


Biotechnology Advancement: Breakthrough with 3D Printing in Developing a Fully Instrumented Mini Bioreactor.

Insight into the future of biotechnology - Instrumented mini bioreactor through 3D printing.
Insight into the future of biotechnology - Instrumented mini bioreactor through 3D printing.

In the ever-advancing world of biotechnology, a groundbreaking study has presented a significant development - a fully instrumented mini bioreactor created through 3D printing. This innovative approach revolutionizes the field of bioprocessing by allowing precise real-time monitoring of growth.

Traditionally, the geometry of bioreactors was considered a less adaptable parameter. However, 3D printing opens a new era by enabling rapid adaptation and manufacturing of bioreactors without the time-consuming and costly construction of conventional reusable bioreactors.

Published in the journal "Processes," the article emphasizes the importance of this innovation in upstream bioprocess development. Small-scale, fully instrumented bioreactors are crucial for investigating and optimizing production processes before transitioning to large-scale manufacturing.

The developed mini bioreactor has a working volume of 90 mL and is fully instrumented. Integrated single-use pH and DO sensors enable precise process monitoring and control.

Particularly noteworthy is the in-line biomass sensor, proving applicable in both mammalian and microbial cultivations. This sensor allows real-time monitoring of the growth phase, marking a significant advancement in bioprocess development.

The researchers highlight the benefits of the mini bioreactor, including the use of a levitating magnetic stirrer, enabling agitation at low filling levels and reducing the risk of contamination. The absence of a penetrating stirrer shaft contributes to increased safety.

Additionally, the lack of space on the headplate of the bioreactor allows for the incorporation of probe ports and addition lines.

The study found no indication of inhibitory substances leaching from the vessel material into the culture medium, providing a positive outlook for use in bioproduction.

In conclusion, the authors suggest potential improvements, particularly enhancing the system's cooling capabilities to further optimize the bioreactor's performance. They call for fully harnessing the benefits of 3D printing in bioreactor manufacturing, viewing the vessel's geometry as a parameter that can be optimized based on experimenter needs, unrestricted by the limitations of traditional manufacturing technologies such as injection molding.


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