Twenty-four-well plate miniature bioreactor high-throughput system: Assessment for microbial cultivations

Authors

  • Kevin Isett,

    Corresponding author
    1. Merck & Co., Inc., Merck Research Laboratories, Fermentation & Cell Culture Department, West Point, Pennsylvania, 19486; telephone: 215-652-7972; fax: 215-652-8691
    • Merck & Co., Inc., Merck Research Laboratories, Fermentation & Cell Culture Department, West Point, Pennsylvania, 19486; telephone: 215-652-7972; fax: 215-652-8691.
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  • Hugh George,

    1. Merck & Co., Inc., Merck Research Laboratories, Fermentation & Cell Culture Department, West Point, Pennsylvania, 19486; telephone: 215-652-7972; fax: 215-652-8691
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  • Wayne Herber,

    1. Merck & Co., Inc., Merck Research Laboratories, Fermentation & Cell Culture Department, West Point, Pennsylvania, 19486; telephone: 215-652-7972; fax: 215-652-8691
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  • Ashraf Amanullah

    1. Merck & Co., Inc., Merck Research Laboratories, Fermentation & Cell Culture Department, West Point, Pennsylvania, 19486; telephone: 215-652-7972; fax: 215-652-8691
    Current affiliation:
    1. Genentech, Inc., One Antibody Way, Oceanside, CA 92056.
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Abstract

High-throughput (HT) miniature bioreactor (MBR) systems are becoming increasingly important to rapidly perform clonal selection, strain improvement screening, and culture media and process optimization. This study documents the initial assessment of a 24-well plate MBR system, Micro (µ)-24, for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Escherichia coli, and Pichia pastoris cultivations. MBR batch cultivations for S. cerevisiae demonstrated comparable growth to a 20-L stirred tank bioreactor fermentation by off-line metabolite and biomass analyses. High inter-well reproducibility was observed for process parameters such as on-line temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen. E. coli and P. pastoris strains were also tested in this MBR system under conditions of rapidly increasing oxygen uptake rates (OUR) and at high cell densities, thus requiring the utilization of gas blending for dissolved oxygen and pH control. The E. coli batch fermentations challenged the dissolved oxygen and pH control loop as demonstrated by process excursions below the control set-point during the exponential growth phase on dextrose. For P. pastoris fermentations, the µ-24 was capable of controlling dissolved oxygen, pH, and temperature under batch and fed-batch conditions with subsequent substrate shot feeds and supported biomass levels of 278 g/L wet cell weight (wcw). The average oxygen mass transfer coefficient per non-sparged well were measured at 32.6 ± 2.4, 46.5 ± 4.6, 51.6 ± 3.7, and 56.1 ± 1.6 h−1 at the operating conditions of 500, 600, 700, and 800 rpm shaking speed, respectively. The mixing times measured for the agitation settings 500 and 800 rpm were below 5 and 1 s, respectively. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2007;98: 1017–1028. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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