Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Martin A. Hjortso


Cell adhesion mediated by bonds between receptors in the cell membrane and ligands on a solid support is referred to as specific cell adhesion. This work focused on the application of specific cell adhesion in control of mixed culture fermentations and on the development of solution methods of mathematical models for cell adhesion. Through various experimental techniques, a model two-strain mixed culture system was obtained. This system was used to explore the possibility of mixed culture control through selective adhesion of particular subpopulations. It was found that through a proper reactor design and operating procedure, the coexistence of the mixed cultures was found to be possible. Specific cell adhesion can be described by an adhesion state model. The mathematical expressions for the model are composed of a large number of coupled ordinary linear differential equations. Using numerical integration to solve the coupled ODE's requires tremendous computational time and is not practically feasible. Thus, the solution methods that can reduce the computational time are desirable so that the adhesion state model can be evaluated and utilized for cell adhesion studies. In this work, new solution methods were developed that significantly reduced the computational time. The model predictions suggest that the adhesion state model is adequate in describing cell adhesion.