The effect of fluid flow and laminar shear on bacterial uptake was examined under conditions representative of the fluid environment of unattached and attached cells in wastewater treatment bioreactors. Laminar shear rates below 50 s−1 did not increase leucine uptake by suspended cultures of Zoogloea ramigera. However, leucine uptake by cells fixed in a flow field of ∼ 1 mm s−1 was 55–65% greater than uptake by suspended cells. Enhanced microbial uptake with advective motion is consistent with mass transfer rates calculated using Sherwood number correlations. Advective flow increases microbial uptake by increasing collisions between substrate molecules and cells through compression of the concentration boundary layer surrounding a cell. The rate of leucine uptake suggests that binding proteins used to transport leucine into the cell can occupy approximately 1% of the cell surface area.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology