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The forces acting on a microcarrier or a small piece of tissue and its movement in the rotating wall vessel (RWV) bioreactor were analyzed. The tracks of a particle in RWV reactor were calculated under different inner and outer cylinder wall rotating speeds, different particle sizes and different density difference between culture medium and the particle. The results show that cells or particles experience partial microgravity only in the upper area of RWV, which changes with angle θ, while in the lower part of RWV, they experience overweight. The trajectory of a moving particle in RWV reactor is an eccentric helix under ground-based condition. And the eccentric degree increases with the decrease of outer wall rotating speed, and with the increase of density difference and particle size. The proper match of rotating speeds of inner and outer cylinder walls is the key to prevent the particle colliding with the walls. For a relatively large piece of cultivated tissue, it can move around the inner wall only when the rotating speed of the outer cylinder is high. And the drag force acting on a particle inside RWV increases with the particle size and the density difference. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochemical Engineering Journal

Publication Date





97 - 104