Instrumentation Of Bioreactors For Plant Cell And Tissue Cultures

The optimum and specific process requirements for every growing plant cell and tissue culture line will usually be guaranteed by the bioreactor's configuration associated with reactor instrumentation. Process monitoring and control have become essential elements for control of bioreactor processes using plant cells as biocatalysts (23,24). Table 3 presents accessories that are typical parts of modern bioreactor equipment for plant cell and tissue system cultivations offered by a number of bioreactor companies today (Fig. 1).

The major physical process parameters influencing successful cultivation of plant cell and tissue culture are temperature, viscosity, gas flow rates, and foaming. Furthermore, for application of mechanically agitated reactors, agitator shaft power (estimated by wattmeter measures or torsion dynamometers) and impeller speed are also important parameters.

Temperature is one important parameter measured and controlled in all plant cell cultivation processes. Because plant cell cultures often show non-Newtonian characteristics (25), on-line measurement of viscosity can be quite difficult and off-line methods are often preferred. A common method for measuring the gas flow rates (air feed, exhaust gas) is to use air flowmeters such as rotameters, and liquid flow rates can be monitored with electromagnetic flowmeters or capacitance probes. Foaming, resulting from extracellular polysaccharides often excreted in the medium, is an ordinary problem in many cultivation processes. The foam can be detected by a capacitance or conductivity probe. The foam formation and foaming are controllable by mechanical foam destruction devices (foam breaker) such as single or rotating plates, ultrasonic irradiation, or addition of silicon- and polypropylene-based antifoam agents. The pressure monitoring is important during the in situ sterilization procedure before the reactor inoculation. Conductivity measurement is simple and typical for plant cell cultivation processes.

Table 3 Measurable and Controllable Process Parameters of Plant Cell and Tissue Culture Bioreactors

Accessories for plant

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