Modelling the effect of osmolality on the bursting strength of yeast cells

Z Zhang, J M Blewett, C R Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


When yeast cells are resuspended in buffer prior to homogenisation, the diluent osmotic pressure can have a significant effect on cell mechanical strength. In this paper a model is proposed which describes the relationship between the cell bursting force and the osmotic pressure of the diluent, using chemical potential and force balance analyses. Yeast cells were exposed for 1 h to diluents with osmolalities varying from almost 0 to 700 mmol kg-1 before their bursting strengths were measured by micromanipulation. The experimental data were compared with the predictions made from the model and in general they were in good agreement. It is expected that this model might be used to understand cell disruption behaviour in downstream processing equipment such as homogenisers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 1999


  • Fermentation
  • Models, Biological
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Yeasts


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