Biotechnology. a fermentation vat for the production of living organisms, as bacteria or yeast, used in industrial processes such as waste recycling or in the manufacture of drugs or other products.

1970–75; bio- + reactor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
bioreactor   (bī'ō-rē-āk'tər)  Pronunciation Key 
An apparatus, such as a large fermentation chamber, for growing organisms such as bacteria or yeast under controlled conditions. Bioreactors are used in the biotechnological production of substances such as pharmaceuticals, antibodies, or vaccines, or for the bioconversion of organic waste.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Shepherd places a bioreactor inside an incubator where it will be pumped with a
  growth medium for a few days.
The system uses membrane bioreactor technology in conjunction with filtration
But a leak from a bioreactor could be worse, since bacteria can learn new
  tricks when you're not looking.
The results should shed light on the types of microbes living in the bioreactor
  and the types of genes that predominate.
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