Growth of microorganisms in an interfacially driven space bioreactor analog

Joe A. Adam, Shreyash Gulati, Amir H. Hirsa, Richard P. Bonocora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Fluid bioreactors in microgravity environments may utilize alternative methods of containment and mixing. The ring-sheared drop (RSD) is a containerless mixing device which functions in microgravity using surface tension for containment and mixes through interfacially-driven flow. To assess the feasibility of using interfacially driven flow devices, such as the RSD, as bioreactors, Escherichia coli growth and recombinant protein expression were analyzed in a ground-based analog of the RSD called the knife edge surface viscometer (KEV). Results demonstrated that the KEV can facilitate the growth of E. coli and that growth rate increases logarithmically with increasing knife edge rotation rate, similar to the standard growth method on Earth (orbital shaker). Furthermore, the KEV was shown to be viable for supporting recombinant protein expression in E. coli at levels comparable to those achieved using standard growth methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11
Journalnpj Microgravity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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