A microreactor system for cultivation of Haematococcus pluvialis and astaxanthin production

Ho Seok Kwak, Jaoon Young Hwan Kim, Sang Jun Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Development of efficient culture and monitoring system for cell growth and production of useful materials is required for practical utilization of microalgae. In the present study, we developed a PDMS-based microreactor system for efficient, rapid culture of microalgae and monitoring of cell growth, carotenoid content under diverse culture conditions. Due to advantages of PDMS, we optimized culture conditions (light intensity, pH, nitrate depletion, carbon dioxide concentration) for improving growth rate and astaxanthin productivity in considerably less time compared to conventional culture methods using flask or well plate. In addition, we found that there was a strong linear correlation between fluorescence intensity of astaxanthin stained by Nile red and the astaxanthin content, which can be utilized as a high-throughput screening tool in microfluidic systems. In this study, the growth rate of vegetative Haematococcus pluvialis was improved by 60% in microfluidic chamber than in flask and astaxanthin was produced up to 362 mg/L under the optimal conditions (300 μmol photon/m2/s of light, 7% CO2 (v/v), and pH 7.0) using designed microfluidic devices. This result shows that microfluidic system can provide effective means to address development of microalgal strains including H. pluvialis and bioprocess.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1618-1623
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 American Scientific Publishers All rights reserved.


  • Astaxanthin
  • Haematococcus pluvialis
  • Microfluidic devices
  • Nile red
  • PDMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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