Interdisciplinary Research

Background

Biochemical engineering researchers have used bioreactors as the primary fermentation device to grow and analyze various cells and tissues in the context of cell culture experiments. The University of Houston biotechnology program currently uses the New Brunswick Scientific BioFlo 110 to grow transformed bacterial cells. Bio-processing and growing cell cultures require both sensitive and accurate instruments, as well as a tightly controlled environment. An essential component of achieving both viable and reproducible results requires the tracking and archiving of all the parameters and procedures necessary to duplicate the results accurately and increase the yield of cell product.

Contribution

The program introduced in this paper allows investigators to view and monitor the necessary data from the BioFlo 110 lab remotely, offering a better understanding of the fermentation process, increasing productivity, efficacy, and allowing for more efficient troubleshooting. This program also enables lab personnel to perform experiments overnight while maintaining access over the Internet to monitor the bioreactors’ performance. The remote monitoring system invokes readily available communication technologies which greatly improves the data analysis and study of bioreactor experiments.

Summary

This paper details a theoretical study of the BioFlo 110 primary control unit and proposes a technique to enhance the functionality of the bioreactors. The software features presented in this research allow lab instructors and students to remotely view their experiment parameters and settings, therefore reducing the overall time spent in the laboratory and providing an additional layer of flexibility to the overall system.