ESR 8 - Modeling of reaction-diffusion dynamics in microstructured devices

Host: UL; Supervisor: Igor Plazl

The overall objective of this PhD study is the development, verification, and validation of mathematical models of transport phenomena and kinetics of biochemical processes in the integrated systems of microstructured devices. ESR8 will be mainly involved in WP9, and partly in WP7 and WP8, contributing to the modular concept of development, design and optimization of bioprocesses in microbioreactor.

Tasks and methodology

The main task of the ESR8 programme will be based upon experimental and theoretical study of microfluidic dynamics in connection with biochemical processes in the integrated systems of microstructured devices. Therefore, ESR8 will focus on development of mathematical models combined by theoretical descriptions of the reaction-diffusion processes and velocity profiles of different flow patterns for homogeneous, non-homogeneous, and heterogeneous systems in a microbioreactor (MBR). In Yr1, ESR8 will work on theoretical analysis (WP9) of fluid dynamics, mass and heat transport, and reaction kinetics for different enzyme-catalyzed processes and phase separations within microstructured devices to recover product and thereby intensify the process by integration with downstream processing (WP7) and to validate developed models by on-line monitoring with optical nano-sensor particles (WP8). Special attention will be paid to model verification and to numerical analysis and solutions of system of complex nonlinear systems of partial differential equations on the physical domains of irregular shapes. ESR8, together with ESR1 and ESR2 (DTU) will integrate these sensor materials based on polymers with an embedded indicator dye into micro devices made of glass or polymers (WP8). An imaging system based on a stereomicroscope equipped with a colour CCD-camera for parallel monitoring of an MBR array will be set-up (WP8). The prediction of validated models (WP9) will be used by ESR8 for further optimization of the MBR (Yr2). ESR8 will stay at TUB in Yr3, where CFD modeling of biocatalytic conversions within a MBR will be investigated (WP6). The possibilities for either phenomenological or empirical modeling of the particle/surfaces/ microorganisms-interactions (WP6, WP8) will be evaluated.

  • Microfluidic chip performing liquid-liquid extraction or other product separations such as evaporation, suitable for integration with bioconversion reactions.
  • Design support software tool for microfluidic enzymatic reactors (multi-phase, immobilized) comprising of transport phenomena, enzyme kinetics, and flow distributions developed.
  • Optimization of enzymatic processes within MBR (WP7), development of MBR of optimized geometry.
  • CFD/μPIV/CLSM experimental data, validation and primary modelling for cell-surface-particle interactions in MBR (WP6)
  • Comparative analysis of performance microtoolbox
  • Analysis of substantial scale-relevant issues for future PAT and GMP applications
  • Nano-sensor particles tested in cultivation (WP6) and biocatalysis (WP7)
  • Geometry of MBR optimized based on mathematical simulations