Bioreactors: Control, Optimization and Applications

Dear Colleagues,

Biochemical engineering deals with the processing of biological or chemical materials using enzymes or living cells as biological catalysts. At a central position in a biotechnological process is the bioreactor. Its role is frequently dominant on the overall technical and economical performance of the process. The characteristics of the biological reaction can also affect the requirements on the other steps of the process, such as the preparation of the media and the downstream operations for product recovery and purification.

Each bioconversion process is dependent on many factors including growth conditions, homogeneity of fermentation medium, cell density, etc. The decisions made in the design of bioreactors might have a significant impact on the overall process performance; in fact, bioreactor design/operation mode is an important key factor to achieve optimum conditions for maximum yield/productivity in fermentation; the main function of a properly designed bioreactor is to provide a controlled environment to achieve optimal growth and/or product formation in the particular cell system employed. In this regard, knowledge of reaction kinetics is essential to gain an understanding of the workings of a biological reactor. Other areas of bioprocess engineering, such as mass and energy balances, mixing, mass transfer, and heat transfer, are also required.

Moreover, qualitative and quantitative descriptions of a production process through the analysis of various parameters by automatic or manual methods are necessary for process control and optimization. The objects of process monitoring can be the environmental status or the varied values of operational variables. Through analysis, the cellular or engineering problems of a bioreactor on different scales can be identified. Inter-scale observation and operation are crucial in bioprocess optimization.

In this context, there is the necessity to research and improve the topic “Bioreactors: Control, Optimization and Applications”. The objective of this Topic Project is to showcase the diversity and advances in research that contributes to developing effective systems for the microorganism culture and bio-chemical production.

Original papers are solicited on experimental/theoretical studies on bioreactor systems. We are particularly interested in receiving manuscripts that integrate biology and engineering research and/or experimental and theoretical studies. We invite researchers from all areas of bioengineering to submit manuscripts for this important Topic Project.

Deadline for abstract submissions: 30 September 2021.
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Topic Board

Dr. Francesca Raganati
E-Mail Website
Topic Editor-in-Chief
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica, dei Materiali e della Produzione Industriale, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Piazzale Tecchio 80 - 80125 Napoli, Italy
Interests: fermentation; bioreactors; bioprocess engineering; biomass conversion
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Alessandra Procentese
E-Mail Website
Topic Associate Editor-in-Chief
Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark, Søltofts Plads 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Interests: fermentation; bioreactors; bioprocess engineering; biomass conversion
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Keywords

cell culture; fermentation; bioprocessing; scale-up; bioreactor design; mathematical models; monitoring and control; bioreactor optimization

Relevant Journals List

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Processes
processes
2.847 2.4 2013 11.6 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Catalysts
catalysts
4.146 4.5 2011 11.41 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Applied Sciences
applsci
2.679 3.0 2011 13.8 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Fermentation
fermentation
3.975 6.0 2015 13.42 Days 1600 CHF Submit
Bioengineering
bioengineering
- 6.1 2014 18.84 Days 1600 CHF Submit

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Article
Effect of Pyrolysis Conditions on the Performance of Co–Doped MOF–Derived Carbon Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Catalysts 2021, 11(10), 1163; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/catal11101163 - 27 Sep 2021
Abstract
MOF–derived porous carbon is a type of promising catalyst to replace expensive Pt–based catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The catalytic activity for ORR depends closely on pyrolysis conditions. In this work, a Co–doped ZIF–8 material was chosen as a research object. The [...] Read more.
MOF–derived porous carbon is a type of promising catalyst to replace expensive Pt–based catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The catalytic activity for ORR depends closely on pyrolysis conditions. In this work, a Co–doped ZIF–8 material was chosen as a research object. The effect of pyrolysis conditions (temperature, heating rate, two–step heating) on the ORR performance of ZIF–derived carbon catalysts was systematically studied. The Co–ZIF–8 catalyst carbonized at 900 °C exhibits better ORR catalytic activity than that carbonized at 800 °C and 1000 °C. Moreover, a low heating rate can enhance catalytic activity. Two–step pyrolysis is proven to be an effective way to improve the performance of catalysts. Reducing the heating rate in the low–temperature stage is more beneficial to the ORR performance, compared to the heating rate in the high–temperature stage. The results show that the Co–ZIF–8 catalyst exhibits the best performance when the precursor was heated to 350 °C at 2 °C/min, and then heated to 900 °C at 5 °C/min. The optimum Co–ZIF–8 catalyst shows a half–wave potential of 0.82 V and a current density of 5.2 mA·cm−2 in 0.1 M KOH solution. It also exhibits high content of defects and good graphitization. TEM mapping shows that Co and N atoms are highly dispersed in the polyhedral carbon skeleton. However, two–step pyrolysis has no significant effect on the stability of the catalyst. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Bioreactors: Control, Optimization and Applications)
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Article
A Multi–Membrane System to Study the Effects of Physical and Metabolic Interactions in Microbial Co-Cultures and Consortia
Fermentation 2021, 7(4), 206; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fermentation7040206 - 24 Sep 2021
Abstract
Continuous cell-to-cell contact between different species is a general feature of all natural environments. However, almost all research is conducted on single-species cultures, reflecting a biotechnological bias and problems associated with the complexities of reproducibly growing and controlling multispecies systems. Consequently, biotic stress [...] Read more.
Continuous cell-to-cell contact between different species is a general feature of all natural environments. However, almost all research is conducted on single-species cultures, reflecting a biotechnological bias and problems associated with the complexities of reproducibly growing and controlling multispecies systems. Consequently, biotic stress due to the presence of other species remains poorly understood. In this context, understanding the effects of physical contact between species when compared to metabolic contact alone is one of the first steps to unravelling the mechanisms that underpin microbial ecological interactions. The current technologies to study the effects of cell-to-cell contact present disadvantages, such as the inefficient or discontinuous exchange of metabolites when preventing contact between species. This paper presents and characterizes a novel bioreactor system that uses ceramic membranes to create a “multi-membrane” compartmentalized system whereby two or more species can be co-cultured without the mixing of the species, while ensuring the efficient sharing of all of the media components. The system operates continuously, thereby avoiding the discontinuities that characterize other systems, which either have to use hourly backwashes to clean their membranes, or have to change the direction of the flow between compartments. This study evaluates the movement of metabolites across the membrane in co-cultures of yeast, microalgae and bacterial species, and monitors the movement of the metabolites produced during co-culturing. These results show that the multi-membrane system proposed in this study represents an effective system for studying the effects of cell-to-cell contact in microbial consortia. The system can also be adapted for various biotechnological purposes, such as the production of metabolites when more than one species is required for such a process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Bioreactors: Control, Optimization and Applications)
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Article
The Effect of the Expression of the Antiapoptotic BHRF1 Gene on the Metabolic Behavior of a Hybridoma Cell Line
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(14), 6258; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11146258 - 06 Jul 2021
Abstract
One of the most important limitations of mammalian cells-based bioprocesses, and particularly hybridoma cell lines, is the accelerated metabolism related to glucose and glutamine consumption. The high uptake rates of glucose and glutamine (i.e., the main sources of carbon, nitrogen and energy) lead [...] Read more.
One of the most important limitations of mammalian cells-based bioprocesses, and particularly hybridoma cell lines, is the accelerated metabolism related to glucose and glutamine consumption. The high uptake rates of glucose and glutamine (i.e., the main sources of carbon, nitrogen and energy) lead to the production and accumulation of large amounts of lactate and ammonia in culture broth. Lactate and/or ammonia accumulation, together with the depletion of the main nutrients, are the major causes of apoptosis in hybridoma cell cultures. The KB26.5 hybridoma cell line, producing an IgG3, was engineered with BHRF1 (KB26.5-BHRF1), an Epstein–Barr virus-encoded early protein homologous to the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2, with the aim of protecting the hybridoma cell line from apoptosis. Surprisingly, besides achieving effective protection from apoptosis, the expression of BHRF1 modified the metabolism of the hybridoma cell line. Cell physiology and metabolism analyses of the original KB26.5 and KB26.5-BHRF1 revealed an increase of cell growth rate, a reduction of glucose and glutamine consumption, as well as a decrease in lactate secretion in KB26.5-BHRF1 cells. A flux balance analysis allowed us to quantify the intracellular fluxes of both cell lines. The main metabolic differences were identified in glucose consumption and, consequently, the production of lactate. The lactate production flux was reduced by 60%, since the need for NADH regeneration in the cytoplasm decreased due to a more than 50% reduction in glucose uptake. In general terms, the BHRF1 engineered cell line showed a more efficient metabolism, with an increase in biomass volumetric productivity under identical culture conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Bioreactors: Control, Optimization and Applications)
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