A chemostat is a device to maintain a cell culture in equilibrium, by continually pumping nutrients in and pumping excess cells and nutrients out.

What's the simplest design of a chemostat one can make? Has anyone tried to mount one without pumps?

A particularly sensitive issue here is sample taking, because you risk contamination of the culture.


Here is a link to a design in which electrolysis is used to generate gas which displaces liquid from the reservoir into the culture chamber, which in turn displaces culture into an outflow (where samples could be collected). The design does however require a pump for aeration, and I can't think of a way in which this could be avoided, although there is a reference cited in this article which apparently describes the use of gravity flow (I haven't checked it out).

Just for interest, this link is to a design which does require a peristaltic pump and a vacuum line but it looks to be achievable.


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