First use of the WAVE™ disposable rocking bioreactor for enhanced bioproduct synthesis by N 2-fixing cyanobacteria

Samuel Cirés, Carlos Alvarez-Roa, Kirsten Ruth Heimann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


WAVE™ rocking disposable bioreactors have been successfully utilized for bioproduct development from bacteria, yeast, microalgae, and animal and plant cells but not from cyanobacteria so far. N2-fixing cyanobacteria represent a prolific bioproducts source with reduced cultivation costs. In this study, 1L cultures of the N2-fixing cyanobacterium Anabaena siamensis grown diazotrophically in the WAVE™ bioreactor exhibited increased phosphate consumption and 37-70% higher CO2 fixation rates than those grown in conventional bubbled suspension (BS) batch cultures. This generated 40-80% increased biomass productivities in the WAVE™ bioreactor reaching 60mgL-1day-1 when supplemented with 10% CO2. Consequently, WAVE™ generated 36-153% more protein, lipid, and carbohydrate than BS, including 47-100% increased productivity of phycocyanin and stearidonic acid (SA) with relevant biomedical applications. While the type of culture system (BS or WAVETM) did not affect the biochemical profile of cyanobacterial biomass, 10% CO2 supplementation induced a significant decrease in fatty acids and phycocyanin contents (mgg-1DW). Therefore, for commercial applications, the CO2 supplementation of WAVE™ should be optimized for each targeted bioproduct separately. This study opens possibilities for upgrading the WAVE™ systems to photobioreactors (PBRs) for bioproduct development from cyanobacteria, with opportunities and challenges critically evaluated herein. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2015;112: 621-626.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-626
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Cyanobacteria
  • Fatty acids
  • Phycocyanin
  • Rocking bioreactors
  • Stearidonic acid
  • Wave-mixed bioreactors


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