Embedded resistance wire as a heating element for temperature control in microbioreactors

  • Alam M
  • Schäpper D
  • Gernaey K
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This paper presents the technical realization of a low-cost heating
element consisting of a resistance wire in a microbioreactor, as
well as the implementation and performance assessment of an on/off
controller for temperature control of the microbioreactor content
based on this heating element. The microbioreactor (working volume
of 100 ?L) is designed to work bubble-free, and is fabricated out
of the polymers poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) and poly(dimethylsiloxane)
(PDMS). The temperature is measured with a Pt 100 sensor, and the
resistance wires are embedded in the polymer such that they either
surround the reactor chamber or are placed underneath it. The latter
can achieve an even temperature distribution across the reactor chamber
and direct heating of the reactor content. We show that an integrated
resistance wire coupled to a simple on/off controller results in
accurate temperature control of the reactor (±0.1 ?C of the set point
value) and provides a good disturbance rejection capability (corrective
action for a sudden temperature drop of 2.5 ?C at an operating temperature
of 50 ?C takes less than 30 s). Finally, we also demonstrate the
workability of the established temperature control in a batch Saccharomyces
cerevisiae cultivation in a microbioreactor.

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