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Bioreactors (disposable)

have a cultivation vessel made from plastics which is disposed of after one or several usages. These bioreactors are available on a milliliter- to cubic meter scale.

The cultivation vessel of disposable bioreactors for animal and human cells as well as microorganisms was designed for only one single usage. For this reason, disposable bioreactors for animal and human cells or microorganisms are named single-use (disposable) bioreactors. The vessels are mainly made either as rigid plastic vessel from polysulfon or polycarbonate, or from flexible bags with contact layers made of polyethylene- or ethylene vinyl acetate. If a bag is used, a suitable holding device (container systems) becomes necessary which holds and fixes the bag. In addition, the container system supports the heat transfer if necessary and holds peripheral elements such as probes or the power unit. Depending on the power input type, single-use disposable bioreactors on the market can be divided into mechanically, pneumatically and hydraulically driven versions. The mechanically driven ones form the largest group.

For plant cell cultivations disposable bioreactors that can be used multiple times, so-called multi-use disposable bioreactors were developed. These are primarily pneumatically driven bubble-column bioreactors and hydraulically driven spray or mist bioreactors 15 (see bubble column bioreactors, spray bioreactors and mist bioreactors). Compared to the single-use disposable bioreactors, multi-use disposable bioreactors are low-cost bioreactors whose cultivation vessel needs to be sterilized with steam or another gas but which are generally less expensive to manufacture. However, the advantages generally seen for single-use disposable bioreactors (higher flexibility, increased process security, time- and cost reduction, “greener” process) cannot be applied to multi-use disposable bioreactors.