BugLab announces ‘first’ online cell biomass sensor for full range of process conditions

US based company BugLab has announced the release of the ‘first’ online sensor capable of accurately measuring cell biomass over the full range of process conditions typically encountered during microbial fermentations.

According to a statement from the manufacturer of sensors for bioprocess monitoring, its new probe 3000 can be applied to fermentation processes from small (250ml or less) to large (100l and more) scale vessels.

"This product fulfils a long-standing need for combining a very wide linear range of sensitivity to cell biomass while discriminating against the effects of bubbles in on-line fermentation monitoring", says Martin Debreczeny, co-founder of BugLab.

A common issue when monitoring biomass fermentation processes online is that most optical density (OD) probes deliver linear response over one order of magnitude biomass range, while most fermentations actually span at least three orders of magnitude. A common solution is to use multiple OD probes to bridge the measurement gaps, but this can be both expensive and complicated.

Offline sensors have therefore remained the most popular option for biomass monitoring in fermenters. However, off line monitoring is labour intensive and invasive, as well as prone to user error, meaning it is only performed at occasional intervals. BugLab claims the new probe 3000 provides an alternative to either offline testing, or online testing with multiple probes. One proBE 3000 provides a linear range of cell biomass from less than 0.01 to over 200 g/L dry cell weight (roughly equivalent to 0.03 to 600 OD at 600 nm) while maintaining strong immunity to changes in process variables such as agitation and gassing rate. Meanwhile, the probe’s small (3 or 4mm) diameter allows access to the smallest ports and fermenter sizes.

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