Scientific Bioprocessing, Inc. (SBI) has launched a new pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) sensing kit that is highly compatible with unique cell culture system designs and can be used for real-time, accurate cell condition measurement within the smallest form factors. The kit’s ID·Fiber Optic Reader can monitor culture conditions at the most challenging locations inside bioreactors, organ-on-a-chip devices, shake flasks, and other culture vessels.
SBI’s ID·Fiber Optic Kit is ready to go right out of the box and is now available for purchase.
“With all of our products, including our new fiber optic product line, we are bringing new opportunities for researchers through continuous, in-line monitoring of pH and dissolved oxygen and soon other analytes. Up until this point in cell culture, small-scale research in academic settings had to rely on visual indicators within cell media to explain what conditions cells were experiencing. This is not a precise or accurate way to measure cell health,” stated Abbie Underhill, Application Scientist at SBI.
“We created our fiber optic products to make our system as compatible as possible with different applications and different experimental designs no matter what culture vessel or setup a researcher is using. That’s why we developed the three different accessories – our ID·Fiber Optic Probes, ID·External Star Adaptors, and the ID·Flow Through Cells,” she added.
Because SBI’s fiber optic cables concentrate LED light, the kit is compatible with 3mm diameter pH and DO sensors. These smaller sensors enable researchers to precisely measure cell conditions within the smallest scale vessels as well as within single-use bioreactors. While the existing ID·Developer’s Kit requires placement of the sensors and reader at the bottom of the culture vessel, this new product allows customers to position the LED source wherever they want to take readings within their system.
The ID·Fiber Optic Kit provides bioprocessing engineers with novel cell culture sensing opportunities in previously inaccessible vessel locations. The ID·Fiber Optic Probe can be inserted directly into a bioreactor to collect measurements in the middle of the culture environment; the ID·Flow Through Cell allows in-line measurements during cell perfusion; and the ID·External Star Adaptor enables measurements to be taken on the side of a vessel empowering researchers to compare and assess oxygen gradients that occur within media.
Notably, SBI’s newest product is the first cell monitoring product able to accurately sense culture conditions within organ-on-a-chip (OOC) devices.
OOC is a promising technology that is a microfluidic, multichannel, 3D cell culture chip that simulates organ system physiology. These chips are lined with living human cells, and microfluidic channels that can simulate breathing motions or muscle contractions. Essentially, OOC acts as an artificial organ that can be used for drug testing and the development of fully functioning, vascularized organs in a lab.
“Historically, there has been no way for real-time sensing in OOC. Some OOC experiments have tried to put sensors in their media reservoirs, but the concern there is that what you’re really interested in is happening in the chip. By the time you get to and from the reservoirs the results have changed,” stated Senior Application Scientist Jake Boy.
SBI’s new ID·Fiber Optic Kit has overcome this and other monitoring challenges traditionally faced by OOC researchers, opening up a whole new world of possibilities for the field.
The ID·Fiber Optic Kit includes a fiber optic reader, fiber optic cables, a converter, and software. The kit can be customized by selecting several different sensor accessories, including ID·Fiber Optic Probes, ID·External Star Adaptors, and ID·Flow Through Cells.
Delivering an outstanding customer experience is top-of-mind for every SBI team member even though the company’s kits are ready and easy to deploy right out of the box.
“We walk our customers through a demo, talk about their customization needs, and review the functionality of our software. We also take care to collect customer feedback and bring that back to our labs so that we are continuously improving our products. We’re always just one email or one call away,” stated Underhill.
Underhill added, “Measuring pH at the beginning and end of the cell culture process is no longer an acceptable approach to cell culture. The regulatory environment is starting to require measurable data points throughout the entire process. Research scientists will need to show that the cells stay within the acceptable conditions the whole way through.”
“If we can establish known values for pH and dissolved oxygen and keep parameters at these targets, we can know with greater certainty that we’re going to have a successful run. This will decrease time, reduce errors, and increase the reproducibility of experiments. Our sensors can help streamline the entire process,” she added.