Improved oxygen diffusion and mechanical aggregation of tumor colonies in a novel stirred mini-bioreactor

George A. Thouas, Mark C. Thompson, Karla G. Contreras, Keith Y.S. Liow, Kenny B.T. Tan, Kerry Hourigan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The feasibility of a novel stirred bioreactor, the rotating aerial disk (RAD) design, was tested in this study. The novelty lies in its method of medium recirculation by convective airflow using a non-contact planer disc, a variation on a physically defined theoretical model. Computational predictions of improved oxygenation were confirmed by increases in measured dissolved oxygen, even at Reynolds numbers (100-200) where flow is mostly laminar. EL-4 mouse lymphoma cells gown for the first time as suspension cultures in the RAD bioreactor, were mechanically re-organization into dense, circular three-dimensional colonies (diameter 3-5 mm, thickness 5-800 μm), more rapidly than we have observed previously. Cell proliferation in the RAD vessels was similar to static cultures, although lactate production from glucose was significantly lower, suggesting a shift toward aerobic glycolysis. This possible reversal of the 'Warburg effect' was accompanied by a decrease in mitachandrial activity, perhaps reflecting a more quiescent cytoplasmic state. The RAD device may be useful as scalable, three-dimensional solid tumor model under more physiological conditions then static culture.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 30th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS'08
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008
EventInternational Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2008 - Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 20 Aug 200825 Aug 2008
Conference number: 30th (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2008
Abbreviated titleEMBC 2008
Internet address

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