Bioreactor Obtaining Foreign Gene

What is a Bioreactor? 

This is a device that has been made to sustain biologically functioning surroundings. It may also be defined as a vessel in which a chemical process is executed. This process includes organisms and biochemically functioning material extracted from these microorganisms. They can be divided into aerobic and anaerobic. They are usually cylindrical in shape and are of various sizes generally composed of stainless steel. It may also be termed as a vessel that has been made to support the growth of cells or tissues. As far as classifications of bioreactors are concerned, depending on their mode of functioning, these bioreactors can be classified as a batch, fed-batch or continuous. 

Types of Bioreactors Processes 

There are several bioreactor types and applications, let us see what the bioreactor uses are – 

  • Photobioreactor

This type of bioreactor requires a source of light to carry out the process. You could practically call any such translucent vessel as a photobioreactor. However, this term is more appropriate for enclosed storage space instead of an open system like a pond or a tank. They are used for the growth of organisms like algae, moss plants, cyanobacteria. They need light energy. Other than light, they do not need any kind of sugar or lips. 

  • Sewage Treatment

This requires bioreactors for the cleaning purpose. Most of these systems are designed to utilize chemically inert substances with a large surface area. This helps in the growth of the biological film. Removal of the extra-biological film occurs in setting tanks or systems known as cyclones. Aerators are devices that provide oxygen to the sewage and biota for the sludge to become active. After which it is incorporated in the biological component. 

Bioreactors for Specialized Tissues

A bioreactor can be used to ferment ethanol from corncob waste. Many mammals have cells and tissues which require a large surface area or a good support system for it to develop and grow. Higher organisms, which are known as auxotrophic, also need special growth support. This is a serious task when a huge quantity of cells is required to be cultured for therapeutic making reasons. 

What are the Types of Bioreactors Found? 

There are six kinds of bioreactors present, i.e. - 

(1) Continuous Stirred Tank Bioreactors 

(2) Bubble Column Bioreactors 

(3) Airlift Bioreactors 

(4) Fluidized Bed Bioreactors

(5) Packed Bed Bioreactors and 

(6) Photo-Bioreactors.

What is Bioreactor Cell Culture? 

The vessels designed for this purpose execute a biological function and are used in the culturing of aerobic cells, which in turn is done to perform cellular or enzymatic deactivation. 

Interesting Facts about Bioreactors 

  • The bioreactor was invented by Wolf, Schwarz, and Trinh. These three won the NASA "Inventor of the Year" for the interesting creations. The year 1990 saw Anderson and Schwarz licensing patents for the wall bioreactor technology that they created. 

  • Bioreactors help in the survival of cells by sufficient delivery of necessary nutrients throughout the process. Bioreactors also help in tissue structure and organization. 

  • In US dollars, Bioreactors can cost around $10,000 to install, and it works perfectly for around 10 years, after which the woods that have chipped off are required to be replaced. 

  • A bioreactor process undergoes majorly three phases — upstream processing, bioreaction, and downstream processing — to transform the raw material into the finished product. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Is Recombinant DNA Technology? 

Recombinant DNA molecules are those DNA molecules that are created with the help of scientific methods in a laboratory. This method followed is that of genetic recombination that gets together genetic materials from different sources to create a genome which might otherwise not be found in a genome. This technology requires the initiation of a foreign DNA into the genome, which is composed of the genes that we are interested in. This gene, which is initiated, is known as the recombinant gene, and the procedure is termed as the recombinant DNA technology process. Introducing the gene of our desire into the DNA may sound simple but is a very tricky process. This is mainly done to extract the protein of our desire. 

2. So, How is it Possible to Obtain Foreign Genes through Bioreactors? 

To do so, the genes of our interest, which are to be integrated, are chosen, then the genome which will match all the parameters and is compatible with the gene has to be selected, after which both have to be introduced to each other for the recombinant DNA to be developed. Finally, it has to be maintained in the genome for it to also be present in the next generation. To produce the protein of our desire, the gene encrypted needs to be decoded. This is only possible under highly optimized circumstances. Not only do we need to decode the protein that we desire, but it also needs to be created in a massive quantity. 

These recombinant cells can be expanded to a massive quantity by introducing an ongoing culture system. In this bioreactor cell culture, the cells are cultured in a huge enclosed container, and the instrument is replenished in regular spans of time. This is done to maintain the ideal circumstances. This process helps in creating a huge quantity of the protein of our desire. This is only possible with the help of a bioreactor.