Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.52, No.12, 1845-1860, 1997
Transient Analysis of Mammalian-Cell Growth in Hollow-Fiber Bioreactor
A mathematical model describing the dynamics of mammalian cell growth in hollow fibre bioreactor operated in closed shell mode is developed. Mammalian cells are assumed to grow as an expanding biofilm in the extra-capillary space surrounding the fibre. Diffusion is assumed to be the dominant process in the radial direction while axial convection dominates in the lumen of the bioreactor. The transient simulation results show that steep gradients in the cell number are possible under the condition of substrate limitation. The precise conditions which result in nonuniform growth of cells along the length of the bioreactor are delineated. The effect of various operating conditions, such as substrate feed rate, length of the bioreactor and diffusivity of substrate in different regions of the bioreactor, on the bioreactor performance are evaluated in terms of time required to attain the steady-state. The rime of growth is introduced as a measure of effectiveness factor for the bioreactor and is found to be dependent on two parameters, a modified Peclet number and a Thiele modulus. Diffusion, reaction and/or convection control regimes are identified based on these two parameters. The model is further extended to include dual substrate growth limitations, and the relative growth limiting characteristics of two substrates are evaluated.