Bioreactors & Fermentation

Automate and scale bioreactor and fermentation control systems

Repeatable and scalable flow control is crucial to achieving high titers from upstream bioprocesses. Designing robust control systems with closed-loop control on parameters like pH and dissolved oxygen leads to predictable, scalable, bioreactor and fermenter yields.

Flow controllers easily integrate into pre-existing data systems, ensuring data integrity and facilitating the progression through process development stages. Alicat instruments minimize downtime and device footprint, while maintaining accuracy and functionality.

  • Fewer flow lines & less spares inventory. Flow controllers with a versatile gas compatibility and a 10,000:1 turndown simplify setup, inventory, and purchasing with uncompromised accuracy.
  • Preconfigured for bioprocessing – and fully customizable. Time-tested hardware and software, with USP Class VI elastomers and 316L stainless steel flow bodies, combine to form the Bio-Series – which can be further configured to slot perfectly into any system.
  • Built-in redundancies. The standup interface gives multi-parameter information in a single glance, including valve drive usage for preventative maintenance.
Flow lines for a bioreactor fermentation in original and simplified setups

Minimizing flow lines and reducing spares inventory simplifies operation and maintenance

A wide 10,000:1 turndown means a single Alicat can be swapped into any point in this system with no need for recalibration.

One global biologics manufacturer used the Bio-Series to simplify the flow lines at its commercial production facility, decreasing failure points and minimizing the need for spares.

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Flow systems for every phase of biologics development

Alicats are environmentally stable, fully configurable, and robust enough to handle a buffer spill – making them ideal for R&D, pilot plants, or commercial manufacturing sites.

Use our standard devices, or work with our engineering team on a custom setup designed to meet exact process requirements.

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Operator adjusting bioreactor control system
MFCs in a benchtop bioprocessing setup

For scientists, flexibility to experiment with cell lines and seed trains

A single flow controller works for a wide range of flows and gases, without requiring recalibration. Communicate using the standup interface, LabVIEW, or Python.

MFCs in a pilot bioprocessing setup

For automation engineers, scalability to integrate control systems early

Each flow controller has a 10,000:1 turndown, maintaining usability as processes scale. Analog, serial, and industrial communication protocols make data transfers simple.

MFCs in a cGMP bioprocessing setup

For system designers, configuration & customization for validated systems

Options for 316L stainless steel, USP Class VI elastomers, IP66, and ATEX C1D2 ensure compatibility even in highly regulated environments.

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Instrumentation in bioreactor and fermentation research

Alicat instrumentation is used in research focused on emerging technologies in the bioreactor and fermentation industry.

This research is exploring topics such as porous burners, macroalgae and pine blends as bioreactor fuel, and biotrickling filters to upgrade biogas.

Man with a bioreactor
Screenshot of cows from Native Microbials case study video

Back pressure control and drop-in compatibility for scale out and scale down

Native Microbials improves livestock quality of life, productivity, and sustainability by using Alicat flow controllers in scaled down parallel fermentation processes.

Tools to use to plan for scale-up

  1. Plan for FDA approvals. Invest early in equipment capacity, prepare your supply chain accordingly, and mitigate risks with flexible, small-volume manufacturing.
  2. Design for commercial, GMP from the outset. Ensure scalability and easy transition to a cleanroom. Early cost outputs are offset by increased uptime.
  3. Strengthen supply chain. Ensure vendor qualifications aren’t a bottleneck and all vendors can meet the volumes necessary for production.
  4. Back to basics – lean manufacturing. Move toward continuous or perfusion processes where able. Keep up continuous improvement practices to future proof your setup.
  5. Use your pilot plants. Engineering, clinical, commercial, regulatory, manufacturing, and process requirements should all come together early.

Jeff DeCicco of ILS Automation with a bioreactor
Benchtop bioreactor for lab use

Headspace monitoring for real-time control of culture growth

Measuring outgassed material in the headspace is a powerful tool to track the metabolic activity of your cell culture.

While more resource intensive than simply measuring dissolved oxygen and pH, it maximizes yield and improves scalability.

Custom bioreactor control systems

Not finding the flow solutions you need for your bioreactor or fermentation control system?

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Bioreactors and industrial facility