• animal cell culture;
  • bubble;
  • k1a;
  • surfactant


Oxygen transfer rates were determined in a bubble aerated animal cell bioreactor. It was found that the oxygen transfer rates increased in the following order: large bubbles (≈5 mm diameter) < intermediate bubbles (≈1 mm diameter) < micron-sized bubbles (≈100 μm diameter). Under certain conditions, the micron-sized bubbles were capable of achieving oxygen transfer rate up to 100 h−1, a 10–20-fold higher transfer rate than the large bubbles. The effects of medium composition on oxygen transfer rates were different for the three ranges of bubbles studied. For the large bubbles, oxygen transfer rates decreased with increasing medium complexity. The lowest oxygen transfer rate was found in new-born calf serum (NBCS) and/or Pluronic F-68 supplemented media. For the intermediate and micron-sized bubbles, supplementation with NBCS into the culture media resulted in decreased oxygen transfer rate. However, further supplementation with Pluronic F-68 enhanced oxygen transfer rate greatly for both types of bubbles. The highest oxygen transfer rate was found for micron-sized bubbles in Pluronic F-68 supplemented media containing antifoam agent and NBCS.