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Bioprocess Biosyst Eng. 2005 Nov;28(2):131-7. Epub 2005 Nov 5.

Bioreactor hydrodynamic effect on Escherichia coli physiology: experimental results and stochastic simulations.

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  • 1Centre Wallon de Biologie Industrielle, Unité de Bio-industries, Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux, Passage des déportés, 2, Gembloux, 5030, Belgium. delvigne.f@fsagx.ac.be


A microorganism circulating in a bioreactor can be submitted to hydrodynamic conditions inducing a significant effect on its physiology. The mixing time exhibited by the stirred bioreactor and the circulation of microorganisms are both involved in this reacting system. The mixing component determines the intensity of the concentration gradient and the circulation component determines the way in which the microorganism is exposed to this gradient. These two components linked to the experimental evaluation of microbial physiology can be analysed by a structured stochastic model in the case of a partitioned or "scale-down" reactor (SDR). A stochastic model indeed enables to simulate the mixing process as well as the circulation of microorganisms in SDRs. The superimposition of mixing and circulation processes determines the concentration profile experienced by a microorganism in the reactor. In the present case, the glucose concentration experienced by Escherichia coli has been modelled during a fed-batch culture. In this context, the use of a stochastic hydrodynamic model has permitted to point out an interesting feed pulse retardant effect in the SDRs. Nevertheless, the metabolic response of E. coli is not easy to interpret because of the possible simultaneous developments of overflow metabolism and mixed acid fermentation induced by the strong glucose concentration in the reactor.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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