, Volume 395, Issue 3, pp 679-695
Date: 02 Aug 2009

Application of microbioreactors in fermentation process development: a review

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Biotechnology process development involves strain testing and improvement steps aimed at increasing yields and productivity. This necessitates the high-throughput screening of many potential strain candidates, a task currently mainly performed in shake flasks or microtiter plates. However, these methods have some drawbacks, such as the low data density (usually only end-point measurements) and the lack of control over cultivation conditions in standard shake flasks. Microbioreactors can offer the flexibility and controllability of bench-scale reactors and thus deliver results that are more comparable to large-scale fermentations, but with the additional advantages of small size, availability of online cultivation data and the potential for automation. Current microbioreactor technology is analyzed in this review paper, focusing on its industrial applicability, and directions for future research are presented.