Microtiter plate (MTP) sealing tapes are commonly applied in bioprocess development and high throughput screening in order to maintain sterile conditions and avoid liquid evaporation. However, only a few of the commercially available sealing tapes are adequately characterized to guarantee both minimal evaporation and sufficient oxygen supply for aerobic cultivation. Therefore, 12 commercially available sealing tapes are analyzed concerning their water vapor and oxygen permeability. The water vapor permeability is assessed by gravimetrically quantifying the liquid loss due to evaporation. Thereby, the sealing tapes are revealed significant differences. Highly permeable sealing tapes are resulted in liquid loss of up to 25% of the initial filling volume after 8 h at 37°C and 45% ambient humidity. Additionally, the tremendous impact of evaporative cooling on the liquid temperature is detected discovering deviations of up to 3.8°C from the set temperature. The oxygen permeability is assessed by measuring the oxygen transfer rate (OTR). Three out of the 12 tested sealing tapes are impermeable to oxygen while the remaining sealing tapes are ensured sufficient oxygen supply. As a result, all examined sealing tapes are inadequate with respect to either water or oxygen permeation. Based on these novel experimental results, prospective improvements of MTP sealing tapes are presented using a model approach.
Authors: Sieben, Michaela; Giese, Heiner; Grosch, Jan-Hendrik; Kauffmann, Kira; Büchs, Jochen
Journal: Biotechnology Journal (2016), early view
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