[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The feeding mechanism of the sessile protozoon Opercularia asymmetrica (Oligohymenophorea, Peritrichia) relies on the cilia beat generating a flow field that convectively transports suspended particles and dissolved substances to the oral cavity of the organism. By use of optical micro-flow measurement and theoretical methods the flow environment of two neighbouring peritrichous ciliate cells is studied. Both, yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and artificial flow tracers are used for the visualisation of the flow field. Artificial tracers are rejected by the protozoa and deviate from the fluid path lines, while yeast cells follow the flow almost perfectly. This is shown through a dimensional analysis of the involved hydrodynamic forces on the tracers. The measured flow field exhibits maximum velocities of 25 microm/s at around 20 microm distance ahead of an individual ciliate. The flow field extends 200 microm from the location of the ciliate. A nicking motion of the protozoon is observed and found not to obey any periodic law. Multiples of protozoa exhibit most commonly an alternating cilia beat regime generating a non-stationary flow field. It can be shown through theoretical methods that fluid exchange is enhanced in this alternating regime compared to a flow field generated by a single ciliate. Fluid exchange depends on the distance of the ciliates from each other and on the alteration frequency of the cilia beat. The comparison of an analytical Stokes' flow solution with the observed fluid flow serves to determine the force required to maintain the flow field against viscous dissipation. The force magnitude is in the order of magnitude of 10-100 pN.
No preview · Article · Feb 2007 · Journal of Biomechanics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This numerical study evaluates the momentum and mass transfer in an immobilized enzyme reactor. The simulation is based on the solution of the three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equation and a scalar transport equation with a sink term for the transport and the conversion of substrate to product. The reactor consists of a container filled with 20 spherical enzyme carriers. Each of these carriers is covered with an active enzyme layer where the conversion takes place. To account for the biochemical activity, the sink term in the scalar transport equation is represented by a standard Michaelis-Menten approach. The simulation gives detailed information of the local substrate and product concentrations with respect to external and internal transport limitations. A major focus is set on the influence of the substrate transport velocity on the catalytic process. For reactor performance analysis the overall and the local transport processes are described by a complete set of dimensionless variables. The interaction between substrate concentration, velocity, and efficiency of the process can be studied with the help of these variables. The effect of different substrate inflow concentrations on the process can be seen in relation to velocity variations. The flow field characterization of the system makes it possible to understand fluid mechanical properties and its importance to transport processes. The distribution of fluid motion through the void volume has different properties in different parts of the reactor. This phenomenon has strong effects on the arrangement of significantly different mass transport areas as well as on process effectiveness. With the given data it is also possible to detect zones of high, low, and latent enzymatic activity and to determine whether the conversion is limited due to mass transfer or reaction resistances.
No preview · Article · Oct 2003 · Biotechnology and Bioengineering