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Cytotechnology

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 49–55 | Cite as

A test facility for fritted spargers of production-scale-bioreactors

  • C. Sieblist
  • M. Aehle
  • M. Pohlscheidt
  • M. Jenzsch
  • A. LübbertEmail author
Original Research

Abstract

The production of therapeutic proteins requires qualification of equipment components and appropriate validation procedures for all operations. Since protein productions are typically performed in bioreactors using aerobic cultivation processes air sparging is an essential factor. As recorded in literature, besides ring spargers and open pipe, sinter frits are often used as sparging elements in large scale bioreactors. Due to the manufacturing process these frits have a high lot-to-lot product variability. Experience shows this is a practical problem for use in production processes of therapeutic proteins, hence frits must be tested before they can be employed. The circumstance of checking quality and performance of frits as sparging elements was investigated and various possibilities have been compared. Criteria have been developed in order to evaluate the sparging performance under conditions comparable to those in production bioreactors. The oxygen mass transfer coefficient (k L a) was chosen as the evaluation criterion. It is well known as an essential performance measure for fermenters in the monoclonal antibody production. Therefore a test rig was constructed able to automatically test frit-spargers with respect to their k L a-values at various gas throughputs. Performance differences in the percent range could be detected.

Keywords

Fritted spargers Bubble aeration Oxygen supply Animal cell bioreactors 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The help of K. Ostmann during the measurements is gratefully acknowledged.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Sieblist
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Aehle
    • 1
  • M. Pohlscheidt
    • 2
  • M. Jenzsch
    • 2
  • A. Lübbert
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Center for Bioprocess EngineeringMartin-Luther-University Halle-WittenbergHalleGermany
  2. 2.Roche Diagnostics GmbHPenzbergGermany

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