Introduction of oxygen to cell culture media via sparging is critical for efficient bioreactor operation. Since oxygen is sparingly soluble in culture media, efficient sparging methods are important to ensure cells have enough oxygen for growth and productivity. Low oxygen solubility and rapid uptake by cells can create low dissolved oxygen concentration that can limit cell growth. The amount of dissolved oxygen in media is impacted by two major factors – interfacial area and residence times. Interfacial area refers to the bubbles’ surface area. The interfacial area increase as bubble size decreases, thus smaller bubbles have greater surface area, which allows oxygen to dissolve more quickly into media. Residence time refers to the time for oxygen to dissolve and transfer to media and is also impacted by bubble size, as smaller bubbles rise more slowly thereby increasing residence time. To better understand the factors involved in efficient sparging, please see the video below titled, “The Impact of Sparging on Cell Culture in Bioreactors.”
The Keck Graduate Institute and WuXi Biologics have teamed together to provide technical training videos called Two Minute Tuesday videos for the bioprocessing industry. They will deliver a new video topic every Tuesday that can quickly get you up-to-speed in understanding the complexities of biologics drug development and manufacturing.