Using an Advanced Microfermentor System for Strain Screening and Fermentation Optimization
Industrial biotechnology employs microorganisms (strains) for manufacture of certain food or industrial products to meet the increasing need of the world. To develop a bioproduction process, the first step is to screen out a production strain from isolated, mutated, or genetically engineered strain candidates. To maximize the bioproduction of a selected strain, bioreaction (fermentation) conditions need to be optimized. Fermentation experiments in shake flasks, bench-scale fermentors, or a combination of both are the conventional methods for both strain screening and fermentation optimization. Shake-flask experiments are easy to handle and cost-effective compared to experiments in fermentors, but the lower controllability makes the shake-flask data less informative for fermentation scale-up. Bench-scale fermentor experiments (>0.5 L) are well controlled under designed conditions and provide high-quality data, but they are also very time- and cost-consuming. The novel microfermentor system (typically <100 mL), or mentioned as microbioreactor, mini-fermentor, mini-bioreactor, or miniature bioreactor, combines the advantages of both shake-flask’s easy handling and bench-scale fermentor’s controllability, thus can achieve comparable results from fermentors at much higher efficiency and lower cost. This chapter introduces an example of how to use a microfermentor system for strain screening and fermentation optimization.
Key wordsIndustrial biotechnology Fermentation Microfermentor Microbioreactor Strain screening Optimization
The author would like to thank Dr. Bjorn D. Tyreus from DuPont Central Research and Development for his review and suggestions.
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