Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling of single-use, vertical-wheel bioreactors as a predictive scale-up tool for large scale stem cell culture

Conference Dates

January 27-31, 2019


Hydrodynamic variables in bioreactors such as velocity, shear rate, and energy dissipation rate have been shown to affect stem cell properties including: aggregate size, growth, plenotype, and differentiation potential. Unlike traditional bioreactor scale-up equations, CFD modeling allows the user to customize geometry so that scale-up equations can be derived between reactors of any given shape and size. We have recently published data that suggests maintaining the volume average energy dissipation rate, derived from CFD simulations, provides a robust method for scale-up of aggregate culture in stirred suspension bioreactors. Turbulent flow consists of eddies formed when kinetic energy is transferred. Energy dissipation rate is the parameter that determines the amount of energy lost by viscous forces in the flow, and interactions with turbulent eddies influence aggregate size. Aggregates in the culture that are smaller than eddies are engulfed and aggregates that are larger are sheared apart.

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