Cultivation of insect cells in airlift reactors: Influence of reactor configuration and superficial gas velocity

G. Visnovsky, J. D. Claus, J. C. Merchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Large-scale cultivation is an essential step towards the feasible production of baculovirus in insect cell cultures. Airlift reactors appear to offer considerable advantages over other insect cell culture systems. In order to evaluate the impact of reactor design on the behavior of insect cell cultures, the IPLB-Sf-21 cell line was cultivated in three different concentric tube airlift reactors that differ in their geometrical parameters. The ratio of downcomer to riser cross sectional areas, the shape of the bottom and the ratio of height to diameter of the reactor proved to be important since them produce significant differences on cell growth behavior. Modifying the reactor design the cellular growth rate could be improved from 0.016/h to 0.031/h, while the maximum viable cell density could be elevated from 9×105 to 2.4×106 cells/ml. Once selected a reactor configuration, the influence of gas flow rate was determined, finding an optimal value of superficial gas velocity that renders sufficient oxygenation without any significant effect on the cellular viability. In addition, the influence of the reactor design on fluid circulation in the reactor was tested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-211
Number of pages5
JournalLatin American Applied Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2003


  • Airlift reactor
  • Gas flow rate
  • Geometrical parameters
  • Insect cell culture
  • Liquid velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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