Through the use of microscopic, high-speed video technology, the interactions of two suspended insect cell lines, Trichoplusia ni (TN-368) and Spodoptera frugiperda (SF-9), with air and oxygen bubbles were studied. Events such as cell-bubble attachment, cell-bubble collision, cell transport into the foam layer, and trapping of cells in the foam layer are presented and discussed. Based on these observations and those in a companion paper (Chalmers, J. J.; Bavarian, F. Biotechnol. Prog. 1991, following paper in this issue) and the experimental and theoretical work of other researchers, several mechanisms of cell damage as a result of sparging are presented.