Different types of bioreactors

Producing a specific compound or molecule requires a well-designed processing infrastructure. The main role in that infrastructure is played by the bioreactor system.

Want to start a bioprocess and don’t know which bioreactor system to go with? No problem, just send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fill out the form at the bottom of the page and we will gladly consult you on your decision.

A simple bioreactor system is comprised of:

  • a control unit, computer-integrated or plugged in separately
  • process control software,
  • a vessel with a stirrer,
  • a variety of sensors and probes,
  • tubings, and other miscellaneous components.

Bioreactors come in different types, categorised by different physical attributes:

  • vessel volumes,
  • reusability of the vessel; it can be either sterilisable (in autoclave) or single-use, and
  • the number of vessels per control unit.

Depending on the size of production or R&D you are planning on having, we can divide bioreactors into three scales:

Scale up bioreactors

  • Laboratory-scale, from 0.5 to 10 L
  • Pilot-scale, from 50 to 200 L
  • Industrial-scale, from 500 to 5000 L

The type of bioreactor you choose also depends on what molecule you are producing and what cell line you use for that production. Once chosen, each bioreactor system is fitted with accessories mentioned above (tubing, sensors, probes, stirrers), again depending on the type of bioprocess you are trying to run.

For different production types, the categories lab-, pilot-, and industrial-scale refer to what the product will be used for.

Lab-scale

Lab-scale

If the main intention is R&D and you just want to observe how your cells behave, the lab-scale bioreactor, benchtop size, is the way to go.

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Pilot-scale

Pilot-scale

Once you finish the R&D and would like to test the cells’ performance on a bigger scale, you can move on to a pilot bioreactor. These are the last stop before starting full-scale production, usually operating at up to 50% of the predicted full-size production line. It’s the pre-commercialisation stage, the last testing ground before the final step.

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Industrial-scale

Industrial-scale

The final step is the industrial-scale of bioreactors, offering enough working volume to produce larger quantities of your desired compound.

After the upstream processes are finished, the product is harvested, marking the beginning of downstream processing, for which other equipment is needed (you can check out our section on filtration systems for more details on that).

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Photobioreactors

Photobioreactors

We offer photobioreactors from the lab and up to production scale. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a high-end in-situ steam-sterilisable photobioreactor for R&D or a full-sized production photobioreactor for installation in greenhouses or outdoors.

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Adherent cell culturing

Adherent cell culturing

We offer two types of adherent cell bioreactors, running on the Tide Motion principle. These bioreactors can be used for smaller benchtop experiments and R&D or can be scaled up to production sizes.

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We are offering bioreactors manufactured by

Bionet
bbi biotech
Esco Aster

If you need help with deciding which bioreactor is best for you, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by the form below. We’ll be happy to advise you depending on your bioprocess needs.

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