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Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology

Bioprocess Engineering Aspects of the Cultivation of a Lovastatin Producer Aspergillus terreus

Marcin Bizukojc, Stanislaw Ledakowicz

Faculty of Process and Environmental Engineering, Department of Bioprocess Engineering, Lodz University of Technology, ul. Wolczanska 213, 90-924, Lodz, Poland.


The aim of this work is to review bioprocess engineering aspects of lovastatin (antihypercholesterolemia drug) production by Aspergillus terreus in the submerged culture in the bioreactors of various scale presented in the scientific literature since the nineties of the twentieth century. The key factor influencing the cultivation of any filamentous species is fungal morphology and that is why this aspect was treated as the starting point for further considerations. Fungal morphology is known to have an impact on the following issues connected with the cultivation of A. terreus reviewed in this article. These are broth viscosity in conjunction with non-Newtonian behaviour of the cultivation broths, and multistage oxygen transfer processes: from gas phase (air) to liquid phase (broth) and diffusion in the fungal agglomerates. The latest achievements concerning the controlling A. terreus morphology during lovastatin biosynthesis with the use of morphological engineering techniques were also reviewed. Last but not least, some attention was paid to the type of a bioreactor, its operational mode and kinetic modelling of lovastatin production by A. terreus.

Keywords: Lovastatin, Bioreactor, Fungal morphology, Kinetics, Broth rheology, Oxygen transfer.

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