(638a) Bubble Behavior and Oxygen Transport In a Taylor-Couette Bioreactor

Qiao, J., National University of Singapore
Wang, C., National University of Singapore
Lim, E. W. C., National University of Singapore

Taylor vortices can be formed by subjecting a viscous liquid to a shear stress within an annular space between two rotating cylinders and a stationary bottom surface. Taylor vortex flow is found in many practical applications such as reaction, filtration and extraction. In this study, Taylor vortex flow is applied in a bioreactor to culture cells that are seeded in degradable porous scaffolds.  This choice is with reference to its advantages of low shear stress, high mass transfer rate and easy scaling-up characteristics. It is important to understand the transport phenomenon inside the bioreactor system for optimization on the performance. To avoid the shear stress caused by sparging, air bubbles are injected to form bubble rings inside the system. A high-speed camera is used to measure the bubble behavior, in conjunction with an oxygen sensor for in-situ measurements of the oxygen concentration in the flow field. The effect of flow pattern of bubbles on the oxygen consumption rate in the bioreactor is investigated for designing the optimal bubble size and bubble number for cell culture and tissue engineering applications.