Stimulation of bioprocesses by ultrasound
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Ultrasound (US) has become a ubiquitous technological process in a large variety of scientific disciplines. However, little information exists on the use of ultrasound to enhance biological processes and/or processing and consequently this paper provides an overview of work reported to date on this topic. This review provides a brief introduction to ultrasound and the history of ultrasound as applied to bioprocesses. This is followed by a discussion of the influence of US on discrete enzyme systems, enzymes used in bioremediation, microbial fermentations and enzymatic hydrolysis of biopolymers. Augmentation of anaerobic digestion by US is then considered along with enhancement of enzymes in food science and technology. The use of ultrasonically stimulated enzymes in synthesis is then considered and other relevant miscellaneous topics are described. It is concluded that the precise mechanism of action of US in bio-processing remains to be elucidated though a variety of plausible suggestions are made.