Stirred tank bioreactors are still the predominant cultivation systems in large scale biopharmaceutical production. Today, several manufacturers provide both reusable and single-use systems, whereas the broad variety of designs and properties lead to deviations in biological performance. Although the methods for bioreactor characterization are well established, varying experimental conditions and procedures can result in significantly different outcomes. In order to guarantee a reliable comparison and evaluation of different single-use and reusable bioreactor types, standardized methods for their characterization are needed. Equally important is the biological capability of bioreactors, which must be accessed by standardized cultivation procedures of industrially relevant organisms (bacteria, yeasts as well as mammalian and animal cell cultures). In addition, the implementation of well-defined uniform procedures for biological and engineering characterization during the development phase can support a fast assessment of the suitability of a bioreactor system. Based on stirred bioreactors, we describe the aspects of the engineering characterization in order to discuss further the biological characterization as a valuable complement. Finally, a case study is presented.
Part of the book: Biopharmaceuticals