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Biotechnology applications requiring large numbers of cells need a solution to support large-scale cell culture growth. Bioreactors are the solution for scale-up applications in research and development (R&D), process development, or large-scale biotechnology and bioproduction processes.

The stirred-tank reactor is one of the most commonly utilized reactor types in biotechnology. The Thermo Scientific™ Single-Use Bioreactors (S.U.B.) are designed as stirred-tank reactors for animal cell culture, using traditional stainless steel bioreactor principles for optimal cell culture performance, with the unique advantage of utilizing completely single-use product contact surfaces to help reduce contamination and minimize cleanup.

Featured single-use bioreactor systems

Open architecture single-use bioreactors

Integrate with any control platform of your choice

Turnkey single-use bioreactors with integrated controller

State-of-the-art single-use bioreactors with integrated control platform

Advantages of single-use bioreactors

Single-use bioreactors provide all the advantages of single-use bioprocessing without the need to buy a complete new bioreactor system. The single-use bioreactor system combines elements of stirred-tank systems with the efficiencies in turnaround, cleanup, and validation found in single-use processing—all while supporting scale-up needs and optimal cell growth, viability, and general metabolism.

During the design of each size of single-use bioreactor, care and consideration are given to produce scalable systems capable of delivering consistent performance through the range of working volumes. Since the single-use bioreactor is based on the traditional stirred-tank reactor, many of the classical and well understood scale-up/scale-down strategies can be employed.

Critical design parameters such as height-to-diameter ratios, agitation design, and control systems have been preserved in our single-use bioreactor designs, enabling the user to scale easily.

Our single-use bioreactor designs include mixing and heating capabilities, load cell systems, and different controller options. They are offered as a system with a reusable outer support container providing a variable speed mixer motor, electrical heating blanket or water jacket, control unit for integration with external control system, and a mobile skid.

We offer two single-use bioreactor families:


Components of single-use bioreactors

The single-use bioreactor system consists of three main components:

  • Outer support container—available with a mixer motor, load cells, electrical or water-jacketed heating systems.
  • Single-use bioreactor bioprocess container (BPC) bag——this bioprocess container is the single-use consumable required for use with the bioreactor hardware. It is supplied sterile and ready-to-use, and comes complete with the agitator (impeller) assembly, spargers, vent filter, sensor ports and/or sensors, and line sets for media and supplements.
  • Control system for agitation and temperature

The single-use bioreactor hardware system consists of several components:

  • Container—304 stainless steel with cut-out sections to facilitate SUB container system loading
  • Mixer motor—Integrates with seal/bearing assembly on SUB container system
  • Electrical Heater/Water Jacket Option—Maintains bioreactor temperature
  • Open Cart Frame—Minimized vessel footprint, easy harvest and sparge line access, simplified bag loading, casters for mobility on all but the 2000L size
  • Control unit (E-box)—Controls the mixer and heater (thermal blanket only), can also integrate with customer’s existing control system (open architecture models)
  • Load cells—Standard on certain sizes only, but available for all models if specified

The SUB bioprocess container system includes several components:

  • Vent filter—Single-use capsule filter for exhaust gas exchange
  • Gas overlay port—Protected by gas filter
  • Ports—For addition of media and other liquids
  • Seal/bearing assembly—Links with mixer motor and allows impeller to turn while retaining integrity of the SUB BPC
  • Impeller—Molded polyethylene and linked to seal/bearing assembly by C-Flex tubing, which forms the outer sheath for the rigid shaft
  • Probe/sensor ports—For integration of either standard or single-use pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) sensors
  • Temperature RTD port—For integration of temperature probe while retaining integrity of the SUB BPC
  • Sampling port—For needleless sampling or connection for sampling manifold
  • Harvest line—Used when harvesting/draining the SUB
  • Gas spargers—Standard dual sparge setup includes a micro “fritted” sparger and a macro “drilled hole sparger”

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