Experimental characterisation of fluid mechanics in a spinner flask bioreactor

Mohd Zulhilmi Paiz Ismadi, Kerry Hourigan, Andreas Fouras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The spinner flask bioreactor has been widely used in in vitro cell culturing processes due to its superiority in providing a homogeneous culture environment compared to traditional culturing methods. However, there is limited understanding of the flow fields in these bioreactors, and optimum culture conditions are yet to be determined. This article presents the experimental characterization of the flow field within a spinner flask at varying speeds (10 RPM to 80 RPM) and impeller positions. An optical, non-invasive measurement technique, Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), was employed to illustrate the fluid flow and calculate the stresses and vorticity associated with the flow within the flask. The largest recirculation structure was observed in the meridional plane at the highest impeller position while the highest shear stress region was observed at the base of the spinner flask. The study provides an overview of the fluid structure within the spinner flask in the meridional and azimuthal planes. Furthermore, the results presented in this study give an accurate quantification of the range of stresses for the given impeller speeds. These results provide estimates of the biomechanical properties within the type of spinner flask used in many published cell studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-772
Number of pages20
JournalProcesses
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

Keywords

  • Cell culture
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Hydrodynamic force
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Shear
  • Spinner flask
  • Velocimetry

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