- Cite this article as:
- Pörtner, R. & Märkl, H. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (1998) 50: 403. doi:10.1007/s002530051312
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Dialysis techniques are discussed as a means for effective removal of low-molecular-mass components from fermentation broth to reach high cell density. Reactor systems and process strategies, the relevant properties of membranes and examples for high-density fermentation with dialysis, and problems related to scale-up are addressed. The dialysis technique has turned out to be very efficient and reliable for obtaining high cell densities. As in dialysis processes the membranes are not perfused, membrane clogging is not a problem as it is for micro- and ultrafiltration. By applying a “nutrient-split” feeding strategy, the loss of nutrients can be avoided and the medium is used very efficiently. The potential of dialysis cultures is demonstrated on the laboratory scale in a membrane dialysis reactor with an integrated membrane and in reactor systems with an external dialysis loop. In dialysis cultures with different microorganisms (Staphylococci, Escherichia coli, extremophilic microorganisms, Lactobacilli) the cell densities achieved were up to 30 times higher than those of other fermentation methods. The technique enables high cell densities to be attained without time-consuming medium optimization. For animal cell cultures the concept of a fixed bed coupled with dialysis proved to be very effective.