Development of a multiplexed microbioreactor system for high-throughput bioprocessing

Lab Chip. 2005 Aug;5(8):819-26. doi: 10.1039/b504243g. Epub 2005 Jun 30.


A multiplexed microbioreactor system for parallel operation of multiple microbial fermentation is described. The system includes miniature motors for magnetic stirring of the microbioreactors and optics to monitor the fermentation parameters optical density (OD), dissolved oxygen (DO), and pH, in-situ and in real time. The microbioreactors are fabricated out of poly(methylmethacrylate)(PMMA) and poly(dimethylsiloxane)(PDMS), and have a working volume of 150 microl. Oxygenation of the cells occurs through a thin PDMS membrane at the top of the reactor chamber. Stirring is achieved with a magnetic spin bar in the reactor chamber. Parallel microbial fermentations with Escherichia coli are carried out in four stirred microbioreactors and demonstrate the reproducible performance of the multiplexed system. The profiles for OD, DO, and pH compare favourably to fermentations performed in bioreactor systems with multiple bench-scale reactors. Finally, the multiplexed system is used to compare two different reactor designs, demonstrating that the reproducibility of the system permits the quantification of microbioreactor performance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bioreactors*
  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes
  • Equipment Design
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Fermentation / physiology
  • Miniaturization
  • Nylons
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Time Factors


  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes
  • Nylons
  • poly(dimethylsiloxane)-polyamide copolymer
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate