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J Biotechnol. 2006 Apr 20;122(4):431-42. Epub 2005 Nov 22.

Chip calorimetry for the monitoring of whole cell biotransformation.

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Department of Environmental Microbiology (UMB), UFZ Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig-Halle GmbH, Permoserstr. 15, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany.


Efficient control of whole cell biotransformation requires quantitative real-time information about the thermodynamics and kinetics of growth and product formation. Heat production contains such information, but its technical application is restricted due to the high price of calorimetric devices, the difficulty of integrating them into existing bio-processes and the slow response times of established microcalorimeters. A new generation of chip or nanocalorimeters may overcome these weaknesses. We thus tested a highly sensitive chip calorimeter for its applicability in biotechnological monitoring. It was used to monitor aerobic growth of suspended and immobilized Escherichia coli DH5alpha DSM 6897 and anaerobic growth of suspended Halomonas halodenitrificans CCM 286(T). The chip data corresponded well with enthalpy balance calculations and measurements with a conventional calorimeter, indicating the applicability of the chip calorimeter for bio-process control.

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