Intermittent bolus feeding for E. coli cultivations in minibioreactor systems (MBRs) profoundly affects the cell metabolism. Bolus feeding leads to temporal substrate surplus and transient oxygen limitation, which triggers the formation of inhibitory byproducts. Due to the high oxygen demand right after the injection of the substrate, the dissolved oxygen tension (DOT) signal exhibits a negative pulse. This contribution describes and analyzes this DOT response in E. coli minibioreactor cultivations. In addition to gaining information on culture conditions, a unique response behavior in the DOT signal was observed in the analysis. This response appeared only at a dilution ratio per biomass unit higher than a certain threshold. The analysis highlights a plausible relationship between a metabolic adaptation behavior and the newly observed DOT signal segment not reported in the literature. A hypothesis that links particular DOT segments to specific metabolic states is proposed. The quantitative analysis and mechanistic model simulations support this hypothesis and show the possibility of obtaining cell physiological and growth parameters from the DOT signal.
- Efficiency in Industrial Processes and Systems