The Dissolved Oxygen Sensor Pill facilitates simplified, automated, and online DO monitoring in shake flasks. Mount your shake flask on top of the Multiparameter Sensor and drop the DO pill into your culture to start monitoring. High-density, real-time data provides valuable insights into your culture and allows for an early detection of oxygen limitations. 

Key Features

  • Automated, online DO monitoring in shake flasks
  • Novel, patented pill technology
  • Unique pill identification algorithm removes the need
    for sensor spot alignment
  • Powerful DOTS Software for easy sensor handling and real-time data visualization


  • Optimize your bioprocess in shake flasks by continuously monitoring DO
  • Drop & Go: Easy handling and fast setup
  •  Use with any shake flask for reduced operating costs
  • Connect with the DOTS Liquid Injection System for DO control in shake flasks with DO-based feeding

Current Shake Flasks Challenges

No Dissolved Oxygen Monitoring
  • Undetected oxygen limitations often deteriorate bioprocess outcomes
Usage of Adhesive Sensor Spots
  • Manual placement of spots in shake flasks before each experiment is cumbersome
  • Detachment of spots during the experiment can lead to unreliable data output
  • Pre-equipped, single-use shake flasks with integrated sensor spots are expensive

How It Works

The technique for optical DO monitoring is based on the principle of spectroscopy.


Optical Sensing Setup

The DO pill is dropped into the shake flask which is then mounted on top of the MPS in the shaker. The pill is coated with a luminescent dye capable of detecting changes in dissolved oxygen (DO).

The pill identification algorithm allows the MPS to take measurements as the pill circulates in the media.

The sensor emits a red light (orange-red at a wavelength of 610-630 nm), exciting the chemosensors which show luminescence in the near-infrared region (NIR, 760-790 nm). Depending on the level of DO present in the solution, the amount of luminescence changes.

The MPS measures this phase shift and sends the data to the DOTS Software.

DO Sensing Principle

At low concentrations of DO, there is less collision between oxygen molecules and the indicator dye, allowing for a brighter emission of NIR light. As the oxygen concentration increases, the rate of collision also increases. This collision quenches the luminescence of the oxygen-sensitive indicator, reducing the intensity and affecting the phase shift of NIR emission.


Application Data & Results

Explore applications in real-world situations. Looking for something specific? Contact us to see data for your organism and application.

oxygen limitation graph

Escherichia coli (Ecoli), 200 rpm/25 mm, 10 % filling volume, 250 ml flask, 37°C, LB Medium

Detecting Oxygen Limitations

Dissolved Oxygen (DO) is considered a critical process parameter in bioprocessing. Oxygen limitations cannot be seen directly and can only be detected through close monitoring. DOTS makes it possible to easily monitor DO in shake flasks in real time.

DO-based Feeding

Bioreactor-like feedback control for Pichia pastoris cultivations in shake flasks.

With a DOTS-integrated controller, the methanol feed (carried out with the Liquid Injection System) was adjusted to start repeatedly, always when the DO level, monitored by DO Sensor Pills, reached a preset threshold. By using this feature, methanol was always fed as soon as the cells recovered from the previous shot, enabling ideal cell viability, while keeping promotor activity constant. Biomass was monitored additionally, with the Multiparameter Sensor (MPS).

DO-based feeding with 40% methanol

Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris), 200 rpm/25 mm, 10 % filling volume, 250 ml flask, 37°C

Do you want bioreactor-like capabilities on the shake flask level?



Hardware & Software Components

Optical DO Pill


Single-use pill with an integrated chemosensor for dissolved oxygen measurements. Each pill comes factory-calibrated and pre-sterilized so it is ready to use right out of the box. 

Multiparameter Sensor & Adapter

multiparameter-sensor-adapter-icon (2)

Non-invasive shake flask sensor capable of measuring DO and other parameters. The adapter holds the Multiparameter Sensor in place for increased stability, even at high shaking speeds.

DOTS Software & USB Hub


DOTS Software, when paired with a sensor, enables the monitoring of critical parameters in real-time. Personalized dashboards allow you to easily visualize data while experimental control features facilitate the customized control of sensors and actuators. Important information such as calibration offsets and environmental compensation values (temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, and others) can be easily included.

What Our Customers Are Saying

"The DO Sensor Pills allow us to effortlessly visualize oxygen availability during shake flask cultivations. This important parameter has a strong influence on our overall process performance."

-Frédéric Lapierre (University of Applied Sciences, Munich)

Customer Success Stories

“Incorporating sbi’s pH and DO flow cells into our system removed the need for manual sampling, saving us time, reducing the risk of contamination, and providing information on how the cells are growing even when we are not in the lab. With availability of this more detailed view of our culture, we can make informed improvements to our cell expansion process.”

-Kitana Manivone Kaiphanliam (Washington State University)
dissolved oxygen graph

Integrated dissolved oxygen flow cells helped optimize a centrifugal bioreactor (CBR) designed to maximize cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) production for use in immunotherapy treatments.


Want To Connect The DOTS In Your Bioprocessing?