Author(s): Begley CM, Kleis SJ
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Abstract The rotating-wall perfused-vessel (RWPV) bioreactor, used for both microgravity and Earth-based cell science experiments, is characterized in terms of the fluid dynamic and fluid shear stress environment. A numerical model of the flow field is developed and verified with laser Doppler velocimeter measurements. The effects of changes in operating conditions, including rotation rates and fluid perfusion rates, are investigated with the numerical model. The operating conditions typically used for ground-based experiments (equal rotation of the inner and outer cylinders) leads to flow patterns with relatively poor mass distribution characteristics. Approximately 50\% of the inlet-perfused fluid bypasses the bulk of the fluid volume and flows to the perfusion exit. For operating conditions typical in microgravity, small differential rotation rates between the inner and outer cylinders lead to greatly improved flow distribution patterns and very low fluid shear stress levels over a large percentage of the fluid volume. Differences in flow patterns for the different operating conditions are explored. Large differences in the hydrodynamic environments for operating conditions typical of true microgravity and ground-based "microgravity simulations" are demonstrated.
This article was published in Biotechnol Bioeng
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology