Novel bioreactor design for the culture of suspended mammalian cells. Part I: Mixing characterization

María Irene Sánchez Cervantes, Justin Lacombe, Fernando J. Muzzio, Mario M. Álvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Mammalian cells are extremely sensitive to mechanical stress. Ideally, a bioreactor design for mammalian cell culture should assure adequate mixing at low mechanical stress. This paper focuses on the mixing characterization of a novel stirred tank bioreactor configuration, proposed for the culture of mammalian cells, based on the principle of displacing the agitation shaft to an eccentric position and replacing the impellers normally used for mammalian cell culture with a disc impeller with no blades. Experiments in a 1.0 L prototype are conducted to study flow patterns using UV light visualization techniques. Three different impeller shaft positions are tested E = 0.0, 0.21, and 0.42. For the purposes of this work, eccentricity (E) is defined as the distance between the shaft and the vertical centerline of the tank/tank radius. The mixing performance of two different impeller disc diameters (3.0 and 5.0 cm) are compared. Experimental results show that adequate mixing conditions are achieved at very low Re numbers for some of the eccentric cases considered. Computations are used to illustrate mixing improvement caused by eccentricity, and to validate the existence of globally chaotic conditions for the eccentric cases tested experimentally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8075-8084
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Bioreactor
  • Eccentric agitation
  • Mammalian cells
  • Mixing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Novel bioreactor design for the culture of suspended mammalian cells. Part I: Mixing characterization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this