Continuous Fermentation Patents (Class 435/813)
  • Patent number: 8859263
    Abstract: The present invention pertains to an apparatus for holding cells. The apparatus comprises a mechanism for incubating cells having a dynamically controlled environment in which the cells are grown, which are maintained in a desired condition and in which cells can be examined while the environment is dynamically controlled and maintained in the desired condition. The apparatus also comprises a mechanism for determining the state of the cells. The determining mechanism is in communication with the incubating mechanism. The present invention pertains to a method for holding cells. The method comprises the steps of incubating the cells in a dynamically controlled environment which is maintained in a desired condition and in which the cells can be examined while the environment is dynamically controlled and maintained in the desired condition. Additionally, there is the step of determining the state of the cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: University of Pittsburgh
    Inventors: Joel S. Greenberger, Paul A. DiMilla, Michael M. Domach, Raymond K. Houck
  • Patent number: 8818562
    Abstract: A method of modeling a fermentation process comprises providing a first principles model of a fermentation process; determining the concentration of at least one substrate in a fermentation composition at a first time; and predicting the concentration of at least one component of the fermentation composition at a second time using the first principles model, wherein the second time is after the first time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Invensys Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: David Bluck, Prashant R. Karbhari, Wen-Jing Lin
  • Patent number: 8815499
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for decreasing the fermentation inhibition in a fermentation of cellulose-derived material in a fermentor, wherein fermentation inhibitory properties of the material subjected to fermentation is decreased by an addition of at least one reducing agent to the fermentor. Further, there is provided a method of increasing the fermentability of a fermentation process comprising the steps of measuring the fermentability of the fermentation process and if the fermentability is below a reference value, then adding at least one reducing agent to the fermentation process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Sekab E-Technology AB
    Inventors: Björn Alriksson, Leif Jönsson, Sune Wännström
  • Patent number: 8652818
    Abstract: A method of producing bioproducts from a feedstock in a system configured to produce ethanol and distillers grains from a fermentation product is disclosed. A system configured to process feedstock into a fermentation product and bioproducts including ethanol and meal is disclosed. A bioproduct produced from a fermentation product produced from a feedstock in a biorefining system is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: POET Research, Inc.
    Inventors: John Warren Lawton, Jr., Jason Alan Bootsma, Stephen Michael Lewis
  • Patent number: 8329422
    Abstract: The methods and reagents described in this invention are used to analyze circulating tumor cells, clusters, fragments, and debris. Analysis is performed with a number of platforms, including flow cytometry and the CELLSPOTTER® fluorescent microscopy imaging system. Analyzing damaged cells has shown to be important. However, there are two sources of damage: in vivo and in vitro. Damage in vivo occurs by apoptosis, necrosis, or immune response. Damage in vitro occurs during sample acquisition, handling, transport, processing, or analysis. It is therefore desirable to confine, reduce, eliminate, or at least qualify in vitro damage to prevent it from interfering in analysis. Described herein are methods to diagnose, monitor, and screen disease based on circulating rare cells, including malignancy as determined by CTC, clusters, fragments, and debris. Also provided are kits for assaying biological specimens using these methods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Veridex LLC
    Inventors: Galla Chandra Rao, Christopher Larson, Madeline Repollet, Herman Rutner, Leon W. M. M. Terstappen, Shawn Mark O'Hara, Steven Gross
  • Patent number: 8328994
    Abstract: Processes for the recovery of ethanol, useful as a fuel, from various cellulosic feedstock materials fermented to produce ethanol-containing beer are disclosed. The present invention provides a method and a system for ethanol recovery from highly viscous fermented citrus waste biomass. The systems overcome various challenges, including effectively stripping the ethanol from biomass beer in an energy efficient and economical manner that may allow for the further dehydration of the ethanol/water mix in a traditional rectifier distillation column. In certain embodiments, a series of flash stages and beer stripping columns are capable of operating with highly viscous slurries and/or feedstocks containing high levels of solids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Inventor: David A. Stewart
  • Patent number: 8257961
    Abstract: A fermentation process uses substantially pure oxygen. The oxygen is the only reactive gas which is injected into a fermentation vessel. The oxygen is moved through the vessel solely by its own pressure. The process can be used with both mechanically-agitated and air-lifted fermenters. The mechanically-agitated fermenter includes an analyzer for measuring oxygen concentration in the exhaust line, and adjusting the flow of fresh oxygen into the vessel accordingly. In the air-lifted fermenter, an analyzer measures the oxygen concentration in the head space of the vessel, and operates valves which either recycle the gas from the head space, or vent that gas to the outside, according to the measured concentration. A stream of nitrogen is periodically injected into the vessel to drive out carbon dioxide and other gases, to control the pH of the fermentation medium. The present invention substantially improves the efficiency of a commercial fermentation process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: American Air Liquide, Inc.
    Inventor: Sudhir R. Brahmbhatt
  • Patent number: 8093040
    Abstract: A biomass generator useful for continuously growing and withdrawing bacteria to be used in a desired beneficial application, the generator having a bacteria growth chamber; water and nutrient inlet ports; upper and lower outlet ports; a recirculating pump withdrawing and reintroducing fluid to establish a vortex in the growth chamber while controlling foaming and pump cavitation; a low pressure air inlet line discharging air inside the growth chamber above the vortex; a fluid discharge line receiving bacteria-containing fluid from the upper outlet port of the growth chamber; a flush line discharging wash water into the fluid discharge line; and an electrical controller cooperating with solenoid-operated valves and a feeder mechanism to periodically introduce water and nutrients into the chamber, thereby simultaneously causing bacteria-containing fluid to be discharged from the growth chamber through the upper outlet port. A method for growing bacteria using the subject apparatus is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignee: NCH Corporation
    Inventors: Robert Clarence Pearce, III, Dale V. Kiplinger, Jose E. Evaro, Judith Gayle Pruitt, Joseph Thomas Colarusso
  • Patent number: 7985574
    Abstract: A fermentation process uses substantially pure oxygen. The oxygen is the only reactive gas which is injected into a fermentation vessel. The oxygen is moved through the vessel solely by its own pressure. The process can be used with both mechanically-agitated and air-lifted fermenters. The mechanically-agitated fermenter includes an analyzer for measuring oxygen concentration in the exhaust line, and adjusting the flow of fresh oxygen into the vessel accordingly. In the air-lifted fermenter, an analyzer measures the oxygen concentration in the head space of the vessel, and operates valves which either recycle the gas from the head space, or vent that gas to the outside, according to the measured concentration. A stream of nitrogen is periodically injected into the vessel to drive out carbon dioxide and other gases, to control the pH of the fermentation medium. The present invention substantially improves the efficiency of a commercial fermentation process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2011
    Assignee: American Air Liquide, Inc.
    Inventor: Sudhir R. Brahmbhatt
  • Patent number: 7875448
    Abstract: The present invention is in the field of cell bioreactors, and specifically in the field of disposable bioreactors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2011
    Assignee: Single Use BRX, LLC
    Inventor: James Francis Furey
  • Patent number: 7635587
    Abstract: A biomass generator useful for continuously growing and withdrawing bacteria to be used in a desired beneficial application, the generator having a bacteria growth chamber; water and nutrient inlet ports; upper and lower outlet ports; a recirculating pump withdrawing and reintroducing fluid to establish a vortex in the growth chamber while controlling foaming and pump cavitation; a low pressure air inlet line discharging air inside the growth chamber above the vortex; a fluid discharge line receiving bacteria-containing fluid from the upper outlet port of the growth chamber; a flush line discharging wash water into the fluid discharge line; and an electrical controller cooperating with solenoid-operated valves and a feeder mechanism to periodically introduce water and nutrients into the chamber, thereby simultaneously causing bacteria-containing fluid to be discharged from the growth chamber through the upper outlet port. A method for growing bacteria using the subject apparatus is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2009
    Assignee: NCH Corporation
    Inventors: Robert Clarence Pearce, III, Dale V. Kiplinger, Jose E. Evaro, Judith Gayle Pruitt, Joseph Thomas Colarusso
  • Patent number: 7632673
    Abstract: The invention relates to a reactor device. In order to keep the equipment costs low and to make it possible to handle a plurality of cultivations during a short time period, the device includes a channel and mechanism for delivering fluid to a monitor; reactor vessels for containing fluid, connected to the channel via valves; a source for a cleaning fluid, connected to the channel via a valve; and a controller for controlling the mechanism for delivering fluid, the monitor and the valves for taking samples from selected reactor vessels one by one, for delivering the samples to the monitoring mechanism, and for cleaning the channel by delivering cleaning fluid through the channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2009
    Assignee: Medicel Oy
    Inventors: Juha-Pekka Pitkanen, Antii Vuolanto
  • Patent number: 7521203
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to novel fed-batch fermentations wherein processes of DO-stat and pH-stat are combined for nutrient feeding control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2009
    Assignee: N.V. Organon
    Inventors: WengLong Roy Lin, Firoz Rustom Mistry, Arun Narayanaswamy Tholudur, Edward Todd Sorensen, Wan-Seop Kim, Dana Perrin
  • Patent number: 7510864
    Abstract: This invention fills several voids in bioreactor technology that allows efficient connection of aspects of physical science (optics, electronics, physical chemistry, sensors) to aspects of microbial and cell culture physiology in a uniquely interactive manner. This is accomplished mathematically through decision making software that utilizes detected changes in the course of fermentation. Decisions are aimed at determining the optima for cellular growth, optimizing for production or degradation of metabolites or substrates, or determining the limits of growth under various combinations of conditions. The invention determines optima or limits in a manner more quickly and at less cost than traditional methods. The basis for the computer generated decisions may be first or second derivative changes observed such as inflection points, limits on allowable rates of change, or the like. The most common measured parameter controlling the decision making process is the optically observed growth of the cells (e.g.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2009
    Inventors: Micah I. Krichevsky, Steven A. Seiden, Louis W. Seiden, Sam Butz, Marc J. Epstein
  • Patent number: 7198941
    Abstract: The present invention provides a porous vessel bioreactor apparatus for use in reaction with immobilized enzymes and/or microbial cells, said apparatus consisting of a vertically elongated reaction vessel having at least one liquid reactant inlet; at least one product outlet on the vessel; at least one porous vessel completely submerged in the reactant, said porous vessel having pore size ranging from 5 mm to 0.2 microns and a vertical length less than a level of the reactants to be maintained in the vessel, and immobilized bio-catalyst particles comprising the enzymes and/or microbial cells placed inside the porous vessel such that the liquid reactant is in contact with the bio-catalyst in both radial and axial directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2007
    Assignee: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
    Inventors: Nitin Wasantrao Fadnavis, Bankupalli Satyavathi, Gurrala Sheelu, Vasantha Madhuri Kallakunta, Trishool Namani
  • Patent number: 7081361
    Abstract: A biomass generator useful for continuously growing and withdrawing bacteria to be used in a desired beneficial application, the generator having a bacteria growth chamber; water and nutrient inlet ports; upper and lower outlet ports; a recirculating pump withdrawing and reintroducing fluid to establish a vortex in the growth chamber while controlling foaming and pump cavitation; a low pressure air inlet line discharging air inside the growth chamber above the vortex; a fluid discharge line receiving bacteria-containing fluid from the upper outlet port of the growth chamber; a flush line discharging wash water into the fluid discharge line; and an electrical controller cooperating with solenoid-operated valves and a feeder mechanism to periodically introduce water and nutrients into the chamber, thereby simultaneously causing bacteria-containing fluid to be discharged from the growth chamber through the upper outlet port. A method for growing bacteria using the subject apparatus is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2006
    Assignee: NCH Corporation
    Inventors: Robert Clarence Pearce, III, Dale V. Kiplinger, Jose E. Evaro, Judith Gayle Pruitt, Joseph Thomas Colarusso
  • Patent number: 6962794
    Abstract: This invention describes methods for enhancing carbon flow into a pathway of a host cell to enhance the biosynthetic production of compounds therefrom, the host cells being selected based on being phenotypically Pts?/glucose+. Such host cells are capable of transporting glucose without consuming PEP, resulting in conservation of PEP which can be re-directed into the pathway in order to enhance the production of desired compounds along the pathway. Pts?/glucose+ mutants have been shown to be advantageous for the enhanced production of the aromatic amino acids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2005
    Assignees: Genecor International, Inc., Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
    Inventors: Fernando Valle, Noemi Mejia, Alan Berry
  • Patent number: 6723555
    Abstract: A fermentation apparatus is constructed to produce a known and repeatable amount of untainted fermentation product using multiple fermentation vessels. To facilitate further processing compatible with other product processing steps, the fermentation apparatus has an array of sample vessels arranged in a container frame. The container frame is configured to hold the sample vessels during fermentation and to transport the vessel array to or from another processing station. Corresponding to the number of sample vessels in the sample vessel array, a cannula array is configured such that each cannula may be placed inside a sample vessel. The cannula array is attached to a gas distributor that delivers oxygen and/or one or more other gases from a gas source through the cannula into the sample vessel. Because the fermentation volume for each individual sample vessel is smaller than a bulk fermentation apparatus, the fermentation product yields are predictable and cell growth rates can be effectively optimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: IRM, LLC
    Inventors: Robert Charles Downs, Scott Allan Lesley, James Kevin Mainquist, Daniel Terence McMullan, Andrew J. Meyer, Marc Nasoff
  • Patent number: 6686194
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method and a device for selecting accelerated proliferation of living cells in suspension. The culture apparatus (2) of the present invention enables cells to proliferate in suspension over unlimited periods of time. Natural selection results in the accumulation of genetic variants which are increasingly better adapted to the chosen culture conditions. The organisms used can be prokaryotic or eukaryotic. The organisms used can be naturally occurring organisms or genetically modified organisms. The culture apparatus of the present invention is also suitable for using continuous, periodical or conditional culture conditions. The physical and chemical characteristics of the culture media used can be chosen by the user. The requirement that a population of cells proliferates exclusively in suspension in continuous culture conditions is satisfied by the periodical transfer of the organism suspension from a first culture vessel into a second culture vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2004
    Assignees: Institut Pasteur
    Inventors: Rupert Mutzel, Philippe Marliere
  • Patent number: 6635441
    Abstract: A fermentation apparatus is constructed to produce a known and repeatable amount of unpoisoned fermentation product using multiple fermentation vessels. To facilitate further processing compatible with other product processing steps, the fermentation apparatus has an array of sample vessels arranged in a container frame. The container frame is configured to hold the sample vessels during fermentation and to transport the vessel array to or from another processing station. Corresponding to the number of sample vessels in the sample vessel array, a cannula array is configured such that each cannula may be placed inside a sample vessel. The cannula array is attached to a gas distributor that delivers oxygen and/or one or more other gases from a gas source through the cannula into the sample vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Assignee: IRM, LLC
    Inventors: Robert Charles Downs, Scott Allan Lesley, James Kevin Mainquist, Daniel T. McMullan, Andrew J. Meyer, Marc Nasoff
  • Patent number: 6620614
    Abstract: The invention concerns a solid state fermenter in particular for large volumes as well as a procedure for solid state fermentation. The task of the present invention was the development of a solid state fermenter for large volumes and of a procedure for solid state fermentation, that allows an economic application of the solid state fermentation for little competitive micro-organisms in large fermenters. The solid state fermenter according to the invention is characterized by representing a module fermenter, where at least two module bases, that are permeable for air and water, are arranged on top of each other, which are connected with the wall of the vessel in such a manner, that neither air nor water can pass laterally, the existence of a cultivation substrate for the micro-organisms, which have to be cultivated, on the module bases, a cooling device below every module base and the fermenter being closed with a lid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: Prophyta Biologischer Pflanzenschutz GmbH
    Inventors: Peter Lüth, Ute Eiben
  • Patent number: 6562615
    Abstract: The present invention provides improved chlortetracycline-containing animal feed compositions and processes and apparatuses for their preparation. In certain embodiments, raw fermentation broth comprising chlortetracycline is divided into two portions. The first portion is mixed with a compound that complexes chlortetracycline. The second portion is acidified and the solids are removed. The acidified liquid is treated with a complexing agent to produced a chlortetracycline complex. The first and second portions thus treated are then mixed and the mixture is passed on to a filter press or other means for separation of the solids to produce a wet cake comprising complexed chlortetracycline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Assignee: Pennfield Oil Company
    Inventor: Willis L. Winstrom
  • Patent number: 6492135
    Abstract: A U-shape and/or nozzle-U-loop fermentor has a U-part consisting of an essentially vertical downstream part (2), an essentially vertical upstream part (4), a U-shape bend part (3) which connects the lower ends of the downstream and upstream parts, an inline pump (12) placed in the U-part for circulation of fermentation liquid in the fermentor, a top part (5) which is placed above the upper end of the downstream part, gas supply members (7, 8, 9, 10) which are provided in the U-part with appending static-mechanical mixing members (13, 14, 15, 16, 17) for the comminution of the gases introduced into the fermentation liquid, and supply numbers for water and nutrient salts (18) and (19), respectively, and in connection with the supply members (7, 8, 9, 10, 18, 19) or in by-pass arrangements in connection therewith one (or more) ion sensor(s) or analyser(s) (20, 21, 22, 23) for sensing the concentration of at least one of the ion species phosphate, ammonium, nitrate and hydrogen ion, oxygen sensor(s) for sensing t
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2002
    Inventor: Ebbe Busch Larsen
  • Patent number: 6410265
    Abstract: This invention relates to the isolation of a novel putative efflux gene from Pseudomonas mendocina. The putative efflux gene is useful for probing an organism's efflux system to gain an understanding of the mechanisms of solvent tolerance. The invention further provides a Pseudomonas mendocina strain deficient in this gene. This strain is unable to grow in the presence of chloramphenicol and, compared to the wildtype strain, grows slowly in the presence of high concentrations of PHBA.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
    Inventor: Kevin Keqin Chen
  • Patent number: 6403345
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a process for the preparation of &ggr;-linolenic acid (GLA) from Colpidium and its use in foodstuffs, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Colpidium can be fermentatively cultured up to a high absolute yield of GLA in an optimized medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Aventis Research & Technologies GmbH & Co KG
    Inventors: Thomas Kiy, Kay Brinkmann
  • Patent number: 6335191
    Abstract: An automated system and method is provided for cultivating bacteria in a fluid medium and thereafter selectively discharging the fluid medium, wherein an initial supply of the selected strain or strains of bacteria is combined with nutrients and water in a biogenerator in the presence of air to promote mixing and bacterial cultivation. The system and method utilize a vortex created by recirculation of the fluid medium to achieve aeration and mixing without substantial foaming. The system and method are particularly useful for supplying bacteria to control grease accumulation in restaurant grease traps. The system and method use a biogeneration chamber which has a cylindrical sidewall and surface on the inner side. Further, the chamber has a top and a conical bottom. The top has inlet ports and a vent port. There is also a outlet port in the conical bottom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2002
    Assignee: NCH Corporation
    Inventors: Dale Vilmer Kiplinger, Judith Gayle Pruitt, Jose Eduardo Evaro, Robert Clarence Pearce, III
  • Patent number: 6268190
    Abstract: A method of producing arabitol by continuous fermentation of at least one sugar by micro-organisms producing arabitol, characterised in that arabitol is produced in a first fermentation area including at least one fermenter in such a manner that some of the sugar introduced into the fermentation medium is consumed by said micro-organisms, some of the fermentation medium obtained in this way is transferred into a second fermentation area including at least one fermenter, the volume being maintained constant in the first fermentation area by adding sugar, production of arabitol continues in said second fermentation area in such a manner as to consume the residual sugar of the fermentation medium, the fermentation medium thus obtained from said second fermentation area is separated a continuously into a fraction concentrated in micro-organisms and another, soluble fraction enriched in arabitol, and the arabitol thus obtained is collected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Assignee: Roquette Freres
    Inventors: Pierrick Duflot, Pierre Lanos, Fabrice Machu, Laurent Segueilha
  • Publication number: 20010006808
    Abstract: A fermentation process post-sterile additive device and method of operation is detailed. The device is used to deliver additive as a heavy-drop mist. The mist covers the entire fermenting batch head surface of the vat broth. This improves mixing and reduces the amount of additive to appropriate introduction levels throughout log phase fermentation, preventing coating of cultivating cells and interference with cell respiration. A steady state growth rate is fostered.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 15, 1999
    Publication date: July 5, 2001
    Inventor: DREW C. COLEMAN
  • Patent number: 6214975
    Abstract: A chemiluminescence-based gel assay may be used as an indicator of fermenter health. The assay is performed using a sample of fermentation medium essentially directly from the fermenter (with no need for complicated purification of the sample before performing the assay). Results from the assay may be correlated with the final product purification yield of a given protein/purification protocol system. This may then be used as a predictor of purification yield before actually performing the purification.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2001
    Assignee: Bayer Corporation
    Inventors: Michael Zachariou, Jonathan Mazer, Hyun J. Park, Charles Olson
  • Patent number: 6200764
    Abstract: This subject of this invention is the detection, quantitation of ras p21 proteins in body fluids, tissues, or cells. Specifically, this invention concerns detecting and quantitating normal and mutated ras p21s from normal subjects, subjects suspected of having preneoplastic disease or subjects known or suspected of having neoplastic (cancer) disease. This invention also concerns the detection and quantitation of the ras p21 proteins into the three families of ras proteins designated Ha, Ki and N in body fluids and tissues.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2001
    Assignee: Bayer Corporation
    Inventor: Walter P. Carney
  • Patent number: 6136960
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a method of determining the ratio of the concentration or amounts of two or more chemical compounds and/or biopolymers, or of the relative amounts of sub-populations of closely structurally related compounds, in a multi-component mixture, extract, system, and the like using an analytical physicochemical process. The method is based on distribution of the components of the mixture (system, extract, etc.) between two or more immiscible phases and the subsequent determination of the total amounts (concentrations) of biopolymers (chemical compounds) or of the amounts (concentrations) of one or more component(s) or sub-populations of the system in the phases. The ratio between these concentrations is defined therein as the partition coefficient. The partition coefficient is used as a measure of the ratio of the amounts of two or more biopolymers (chemical compounds) or their sub-populations in a multi-component mixture (extract, system, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2000
    Assignees: Boris Y. Zaslavsky, Arnon Chait
    Inventors: Arnon Chait, Boris Y. Zaslavsky
  • Patent number: 6133019
    Abstract: The present invention comprises a novel culture method and device in which living cells or subcellular biocatalysts are immobilized by the opposition of a centrifugal force field and a liquid flow field. The immobilized cells or biocatalysts are ordered into a three-dimensional array of articles, the density of which is determined by the particle size, shape, intrinsic density and by the selection of combinations of parameters such as liquid flow rate and angular velocity of rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Assignee: Kinetic Biosystems, Inc.
    Inventor: Heath H. Herman
  • Patent number: 6125736
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a fermenter consisting of a vat provided internally with a diaphragm designed to retain the gas bubbles produced by fermentation and release them when they have reached a large size. The diaphragm consists of a concave surface underneath which the rising bubbles are temporarily collected and continue to rise as soon as they flow out from the diaphragm full of gas. In this way the small bubbles which rise up combine together to form others which are larger and able to create strong currents which continuously remix the floating marc and in this way make it possible to avoid or, at least greatly limit, solidification of the cap, keeping it constantly fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2000
    Assignee: Castle Commercial Enterprises Limited
    Inventor: Francesco Marin
  • Patent number: 6043022
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for the generation and use of ferric ions produced by acidophilic, chemoautotrophic bacteria.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Assignee: Board of Control of Michigan Technological University
    Inventors: Donald R. Lueking, Carl C. Nesbitt
  • Patent number: 6008010
    Abstract: The present invention pertains to an apparatus for holding cells. The apparatus comprises a mechanism for incubating cells having a dynamically controlled closed environment in which the cells are grown, which are maintained in a desired condition and in which cells can be examined while the environment is dynamically controlled and maintained in the desired condition. The apparatus also comprises a mechanism for determining the state of the cells. The determining mechanism is in communication with the incubating mechanism. The present invention pertains to a method for holding cells. The method comprises the steps of incubating the cells in a dynamically controlled closed environment which is maintained in a desired condition and in which the cells can be examined while the environment is dynamically controlled and maintained in the desired condition. Additionally, there is the step of determining the state of the cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1999
    Assignee: University of Pittsburgh
    Inventors: Joel S. Greenberger, Paul A. DiMilla, Michael M. Domach, Raymond K. Houck
  • Patent number: 6001255
    Abstract: The invention provides a process for the production and utilization of water-soluble salts selected from the group consisting of water-soluble salts of carboxylic acids and water-soluble salts of amino acids, comprising reacting an aqueous feed solution containing an amino or carboxylic acid or their anions with a water-soluble base, in indirect contact via a semi-permeable membrane, the membrane being permselective to amino acids, carboxylic acids and their anions over cations and non-ionized species, whereby there is formed a salt solution of the acid containing less impurities per anion than the feed solution and utilizing the salt values from the formed salt solution of the acid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Inventors: Aharon Eyal, Avraham Baniel, Larry G. Pillard
  • Patent number: 5981260
    Abstract: Process for the production of cell mass and/or fermentation products under sterile conditions, during which the fermentation mixture, at least at times, is recycled and the metabolic products of the cultivated cells, and possibly the cell mass are separated; the process comprises the following steps:charging the fermentation equipment with a sufficient amount of nutrient medium to start the required cell culture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Inventor: Michael Metz
  • Patent number: 5981211
    Abstract: Methods of maintaining animal cells for product production, for supporting hepatocyte function and viability to treat a patient suffering from hepatic failure and for preserving tissue-specific function of mammalian cells are carried out with a bioreactor containing a feed and waste chamber and a cell chamber separated by a selectively permeable membrane. Within the cell chamber, a biocompatible contracted three-dimensional gel matrix entraps animal cells or genetic modifications thereof, and a liquid phase contains a concentrated solution of the cell product. The bioreactor uses only two chambers to achieve three distinct zones within the bioreactor. The bioreactor can be of either hollow fiber or flat-bed configuration. In the configuration using hollow fibers, the two fluid paths correspond to the cavity surrounding the hollow fibers (the extracapillary space), and to the lumens of the hollow fibers themselves. Both fluid paths have inlet and outlet ports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: Regents of the University of Minnesota
    Inventors: Wei-Shou Hu, Frank Bernard Cerra, Scott Lyle Nyberg, Matthew Thomas Scholz, Russell A. Shatford
  • Patent number: 5962307
    Abstract: A continuous process and apparatus for preparing organic acids and their salts from biomass. Biomass flows from a region of fresh biomass and high acid and acid salt concentration to a region of digested biomass and low acid and acid salt concentration in a fermentation apparatus under anaerobic conditions. Organic acids and acid salts produced by the process of the present invention are volatile fatty acids such as acetic, butyric and propionic acids and their salts such as calcium acetate, calcium propionate, and calcium butyrate. The apparatus of the present invention contains at least two fermentation reactors in series to increase the biomass residence time in the reactors. The fermentation reactors of the present invention are imbedded in the ground with earthen berms as support for sides having three layers. The core of the reactors are covered with a flexible covering to maintain an anaerobic environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: The Texas A&M University System
    Inventors: Mark Holtzapple, Richard Davison, Mitch Loescher, Michael K. Ross
  • Patent number: 5948633
    Abstract: A device and process for determining the effect of an antimicrobial agent or other compound on a microorganism growing in continous broth culture. The microorganisms are grown in a vessel of fixed volume (18), which is supplied with a constant inflow of nutrient broth selected from one of two resevoirs. The culture is first stabilized by drawing broth from resevoir (10), which contains nutrient broth only, and then at a particular time the inflow is switched to resevoir (12), which contains nutrient broth and the compound to be tested. By measuring the density of the culture, in particular by counting the organisms as they leave the drain (20), the growth rate of the microorganisms can be calculated as a function of time or compound concentration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Inventor: Loren Disney
  • Patent number: 5925563
    Abstract: A multi-stage column continuous fermentation system for brewing beer and the like. The system comprises several basic interconnected stages or sections including a discharge stage or section, a feed stage, at least one fermentation stage, a top stage, and a CO.sub.2 discharge column. The discharge section functions in waste and yeast collection and discharge. The feed stage functions as a means of inputting wort from the initial stages of the brewing process. Each fermentation stage functions in fermentation and CO.sub.2 gas bubble collection and discharge. In certain types of brew, this example included, more than one fermentation stage may be needed or desired. Additional fermentation and CO.sub.2 collection takes place along the added vertical space provided by each additional stage. An optional isolation stage or section may be added for certain types of brew where the brew requires cooling during ascension.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Inventor: Steven G. Redford
  • Patent number: 5874263
    Abstract: A continuous process and apparatus for preparing organic acids and their salts from biomass. Biomass flows from a region of fresh biomass and high acid and acid salt concentration to a region of digested biomass and low acid and acid salt concentration in a fermentation apparatus under anaerobic conditions. Organic acids and acid salts produced by the process of the present invention are volatile fatty acids such as acetic, butyric and propionic acids and their salts such as calcium acetate, calcium propionate, and calcium butyrate. The apparatus of the present invention contains at least two fermentation reactors in series to increase the biomass residence time in the reactors. The fermentation reactors of the present invention are imbedded in the ground with earthen berms as support for sides having three layers. The core of the reactors are covered with a flexible covering to maintain an anaerobic environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: The Texas A&M University System
    Inventors: Mark Holtzapple, Richard Davison, Mitch Loescher, Michael K. Ross
  • Patent number: 5869300
    Abstract: A method for producing L-glutamic acid, comprising inoculating a microorganism having an ability to produce L-glutamic acid, in a liquid medium containing a carbon source and a nitrogen source, conducting continuous L-glutamic acid fermentation in which both a carbon source and a nutrient having an effect of promoting bacterial growth are fed so as to make the microorganism grow, and then collecting L-glutamic acid produced and accumulated in a culture broth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Assignee: Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Tatsuya Yoshioka, Toshimasa Ishii, Yoshio Kawahara, Yosuke Koyama, Eiko Shimizu
  • Patent number: 5851820
    Abstract: A unit for the preparation of fermenting gas by fermenting viscous media with mixing paddles that can be moved continuously back and forth and in the same direction in the tank to mix the medium to be fermented. Alternately, the mixing paddles hang from a rotating roller in the tank and the roller is driven such that the mixing paddles are moved up and down. The unit may be fitted with several mixing paddles arranged in series and in the direction of the mixing effect, i.e., the suspended mixing paddles are arranged above each other in the event of a vertical tank, in which case a joint drive unit is provided for each mixing paddle group, thus moving the mixing paddles simultaneously in such a manner that each individual mixing paddle executes only a limited stroke, but the mixing paddles as a whole achieve a complete mixing of the medium to be fermented in the chamber, in which are installed the mixing paddles. The heat exchange is improved, when a heat exchange wall is installed between the two chambers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1998
    Inventor: Christoph Frese
  • Patent number: 5843763
    Abstract: Enzymatic dehalogenation of undesirable nitrogen-free organohalogen compounds is carried out by adding a dehalogenase to an aqueous composition comprising a nitrogen-free organohalogen compound and a nitrogen-containing cationic polymer. The enzymatic dehalogenation of the nitrogen-free organohalogen compound is achieved without any substantial effect upon the nitrogen-free organohalogen compound. The dehalogenation method may be carried out via continuous, batch, or semi-continuous processes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Hercules Incorporated
    Inventors: Alan Bull, David J. Hardman, Brian M. Stubbs, Paul J. Sallis
  • Patent number: 5827701
    Abstract: A process for generating a ferric ion solution. The process includes the steps of establishing in a vessel a population of acidophilic, chemoautotrophic bacteria which oxidize ferrous ions into ferric ions; supplying the bacteria with a feed solution of ferrous ions; maintaining the pH of the contents of the vessel below 3.0; and withdrawing the generated ferric ion solution from the vessel. The generated ferric ion solution can be used to oxidize metal or ore and to solubilize metal from ore, alloys or scrap. The ferrous ions produced during the oxidation or solubilization are recirculated into the feed solution to continue the process of generating ferric ions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 27, 1998
    Inventors: Donald R. Lueking, Carl C. Nesbitt
  • Patent number: 5821116
    Abstract: The present invention comprises a novel culture method and device in which living cells or subcellular biocatalysts are immobilized by the opposition of a centrifugal force field and a liquid flow field. The immobilized cells or biocatalysts are ordered into a three-dimensional array of articles, the density of which is determined by the particle size, shape, intrinsic density and by the selection of combinations of parameters such as liquid flow rate and angular velocity of rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Kinetic Biosystems, Inc.
    Inventor: Heath H. Herman
  • Patent number: 5817505
    Abstract: Disclosed is a device for separating particles from a bulk liquid, such as viable hybridoma cells from antibody-containing liquid medium. The device comprises a plurality of settlement plates, or other surfaces, being inclined to the vertical, and a pump or other means for causing liquid containing the particles to flow upwardly over the surfaces at such a rate as to allow particles to be separated from the bulk liquid to form sediment layers on the surfaces and slide down them for collection at an appropriate point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Assignee: Bioscot Limited
    Inventors: Keith John Thompson, James Samuel Wilson
  • Patent number: 5798253
    Abstract: An accelerated micro-organism culture method is for decomposing harmful substances. For this purpose, the cultivation, mutagenic treatment and stabilization of the micro-organisms are carried out simultaneously in a mutation fermenter containing a nutrient-rich basic medium (basic medium 1); selection is carried out in a selection fermenter containing a basic medium which is low in nutrients and is enriched with the harmful substance (basic medium 2); small amounts of biomass released from the nutrient-rich basic medium (basic medium 1) of the mutation fermenter are continuously removed from the mutation fermenter and transferred to the selection fermenter. Small amounts of biomass released from the basic medium which is low in nutrients (basic medium 2) of the selection fermenter are removed from the selection fermenter and transferred to the mutation fermenter. The entire process is carried out continuously in alternating selection and mutation phases, in the manner of a repeated cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1998
    Assignee: Bitop Gesellschaft fur Biotechnische Optimierung mbH
    Inventors: Peter Bartholmes, Michael Kaufmann, Thomas Schwarz
  • Patent number: 5798254
    Abstract: A gas driven fermentation method is disclosed wherein a gas, such as air, is passed heterogeneously upwardly through a fermentation broth to agitate and recirculate the broth. Further, the provision of oxygen for fermentation permits the carbon dioxide to be stripped off; and in addition a second gas, such as a fluid-containing oxygen is passed homogeneously upwardly through the broth to provide for supplemental air flow for the fermentation. The heterogeneously flow is carried out at a superficial velocity greater than 0.03 meter/second (m/sec); and the homogenous flow is carried out at a superficial velocity less than 0.05 m/sec.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1998
    Assignee: Praxair Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Alan Tat Yan Cheng