Modeling cells and bioreactor hydrodynamics


This project will optimize large-scale fermenter design and operating conditions. The team will model cell growth, fluid dynamics, and cell viability during scale up. Simultaneously, they will use flow chambers to understand cells’ reaction to physical and chemical stresses.

Production platform: Cultivated

Technology sector: Bioprocess design, Computational modeling

Sci23066 cm

Project aims

A significant current bottleneck in advancing the cultivated meat industry is scalability and associated engineering challenges. This project develops targeted models to evaluate and optimize fermenter design, configurations, and operating conditions at large scale.

This project seeks experimentally relevant, minimal cell growth models that capture biomass growth, nutrient utilization, and fermentation product dynamics. This information will be computationally linked to the role of fluid shear and bubble stresses in cell death and cell viability during scale up. Simultaneously, we will set up flow chambers to refine the reaction of cells to physical, chemical, and oxygen/carbon-dioxide stresses. Insights gathered here will meaningfully advance the alternative protein industry.

Principal researchers

Sci23076 2022 research grantee headshots manikantan

Dr. Harishankar Manikantan

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Davis

Dr. Manikantan uses ideas from complex fluids, colloid science, and soft condensed matter physics to solve fundamental problems that arise in biophysical transport and in the processing of chemical products.

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