Bioreactors for industrial cell culture - devices and operating modes

Content & Learning Objective

On the way from the cell culture flask to the production scale, a variety of bioreactors (e.g., stirred tank bioreactors, single-use reactors, fixed bed reactors, or hollow fiber modules) can be used to produce larger quantities of animal or human cells or their products (e.g., antibodies). The variety and complexity of the available types makes it difficult to get started in bioreactor technology. Special attention also requires the selection and design of a suitable operation mode of a bioreactor (batch, fed-batch, continuous). This theoretical course teaches you the basic knowledge for the selection, handling and operation of bioreactors for cell cultures.

The following topics are adressed:

  • Requirements for the cultivation of animal and human cells
  • Overview bioreactors for cell culture technology
  • Construction, instrumentation and operation of bioreactors for mammalian cells
  • Operation modes (batch, fed-batch, continuous)

Target Group

Technical and scientific staff with solid basic knowledge in cell culture and cell biology, without knowledge of bioreactor technology.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralf Pörtner studied chemical engineering at the University of Dortmund and received his doctorate there at the Department of Mechanical Process Engineering. After a post-doctoral study at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, he took on the role of senior engineer and head of the working group "Cell Culture and Tissue Engineering" at the Technical University of Hamburg. After his habilitation in 1997 he was appointed Privatdozent. Since 2010 he is Honorary Professor at TH Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences, Giessen. He is currently one of the coordinators of the research focus "Regeneration, Implants and Medical Technology" of the Technical University of Hamburg and member of the directorate of the Research Center Medical Technology (FMTHH). Research activities include the development of bioreactors, in particular for cell cultures and microbial reactions, as well as model-based control concepts, and tissue engineering.