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Comment Processing & Handling

First in-situ refractive-index sensor for bioreactor monitoring

By Scott Jenkins |

Process monitoring in biotechnology processes is critical to maximizing product yield and optimizing nutrient consumption. Startup company Stratophase Ltd. (Romsey, U.K.; www.stratophase.com) is now offering the first realtime, in-situ micro-optical sensor for monitoring and control of bioprocesses involving both microbes and mammalian cells. Using specially configured optical structures that incorporate Bragg gratings, the sensor routes light around a semiconductor chip, and can directly measure the refractive index of the process media when immersed. The realtime measurement relates to the metabolic rate of the bioprocess, allowing continuous monitoring to observe the progress of the process or batch-to-batch variations. “Refractive index can be used to measure a wide range of analytes common in industrial biotechnology and biopharmaceutical processes,” says consultant George Barringer, of Stratophase. “The system, known as Ranger, can be used as a process monitor, a nutrient feeder or integrated into a process control system,” he adds. The sensor probe can be sterilized-in-place, and adjusts automatically for temperature-dependent changes in refractive index, Barringer says. A key advantage of the sensor…
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