SBIR Phase II: Development of a BioAcoustic Mixing Platform

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0646562
Agency Tracking Number: 0512829
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: MI
Solicitation Number: NSF 04-604
Small Business Information
DUNS: 836287680
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Todd McAdams
 (406) 497-5200
Business Contact
 Todd McAdams
Title: PhD
Phone: (406) 497-5200
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II research project develops a mixer based on sound waves applicable for use in bioreactors for cell culturing and fermentors. Cell culturing and fermentation are large markets where significant growth is forecast over the next several years. This research will establish the optimal design and operating conditions for this non-invasive and non-destructive mixing technology. It is anticipated that performance for many applications can be enhanced by 50% or greater over state-of-the-art technology using this novel agitation technology. The broader impact will be to reduce the costs of pharmaceutical production, when such production is based on biological feedstocks. Media and process development for biological production of pharmaceuticals is costly and time-intensive and performed using stirred-tank bioreactors due to the limitations of orbital shake-flask and cell culture flasks. A mixing technology that could unify laboratory-scale and pilot-scale experiments would be highly valuable in speeding the pace of process development. Low-frequency acoustic energy will dramatically enhance gas-liquid mass transport without increasing hydrodynamic shear stress. The research project will enhance the scientific understanding of low frequency acoustic mixing processes by quantifying the impact of acoustic frequency on oxygen transfer rates and cellular growth. The significance to society that the successful development is a dramatic increase in the pace of biotechnological process development. This will lead to more rapid commercialization of and lower prices for pharmaceutical products that enhance overall quality of life.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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