Microfluidic Microbioreactor to Reduce the Cost and Speed Up Optimisation of Protein Production

Here, we demonstrate a low-cost polymer microfluidic microbioreactor with a working volume of 1 mL, integrated with optical sensors for pH, oxygen and cell density, and maintained at constant set temperature for the optimisation of recombinant protein production from Pichia pastoris. Oxygen is transferred from a headspace enclosure, formed using inkjet 3D printing, through a gas-permeable membrane within the microbioreactor with a KLa of 90 at 1500 rpm. A pressurised fluid driving system is used with flow rates controllable to 0.7 µL/min with fluid switching from four reservoirs performed off the microfluidic microbioreactor element so that this can be produced at low cost using high replication techniques.