Bioreactor Gas Sparging and in-situ Hold-Up Monitoring System

State-Of-Development:Initial testing has been completed, further optimization and scale-up is required.


Gas sparging is a process by which gas is bubbled through a liquid medium. Typically, gas sparging is performed by transporting the gas through a tube comprising a plurality of nozzles; upon exiting the nozzles, the gas forms bubbles, which are subsequently transported through the liquid medium in which the tube is positioned. Gas sparging is a commonly used strategy for the submerged culture of microorganisms, including aerobic microorganisms. In some such cases, gas sparging may be used to maintain desirable liquid levels of dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, and/or other gases required by the microorganisms that are being grown. While transporting such gases to microorganisms may be essential for growth, bubble formation, movement, and rupture can exert significant stress, potentially damaging the microorganisms. This can be especially problematic for sensitive species such as animal cells, microalgae, or certain bacteria.
Researchers from NC State and Biogen, Inc. have designed an improved multi-nozzle sparger that allows for: (i) more homogeneous gas flow rate and bubble size distributions; (ii) decreased weeping; and/or (iii) in-situ monitoring of gas hold-up at the near-sparger region. This ultimately results in reduced cell death in bioreactors, while allowing for better monitoring.



  • Reduced cell death in bioreactor
  • Decreased weeping (reduced pressure drop and increased separation efficiency)
  • Allows for in-situ monitoring

Application Areas

  • Other systems that require controlled gas flow into living liquids.

Link to Technical Brief



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