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Direct visualization of flowing biomass capture and release within a fibrous matrix

Bustnes, TE; Kaminski, CF; Mackley, MR, "Direct visualization of flowing biomass capture and release within a fibrous matrix", BIOCHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL 18:231-234(2004), DOI:10.1016/j.bej.2003.08.004, | pdf


The way in which biomass can attach and detach to itself and other structures is of importance in a number of areas of bioscience and technology [J. Tampion, M.D. Tampion, Immobilized Cells: Principles and Applications, Cambridge Studies in Biotechnology, CUP, Cambridge, 1987; [1] M. Fletcher, The attachment of bacteria to surfaces in aquatic environments, in: D.C. Ellwood, J. Melling, P. Rutter (Eds.), Adhesion of Microorganisms to Surfaces, Academic Press, London, 1979, p. 87] [2]. Fluid flow will affect the situation [J.M. Lackie, Adhesion from flow, in: A.S.G. Curtis, J.M. Lackie (Eds.), Measuring Cell Adhesion, Wiley, Chichester, 1991, p. 41] [3] and this letter reports, for the first time, direct in situ observations of the way flowing biomass can deposit onto a fibrous structure and also how other flow conditions are able to re-suspend the biomass. In particular, fibre intersections are identified as regions of significant importance. The observations are of general interest in relation to biomass aggregation, growth and break-up and of specific relevance to filtration processes and immobilized bioreactor design.