Is my shaking culture still "happy"?

May 17, 2019

A reflection measurement of the biomass with the SFR vario BM provides precise insights into the growth process of different cultures in the shake flask and thus helps e.g. to determine the perfect "harvest time".

Every cell type, whether yeast, plant, fungal or cell culture, needs ist special cultivation medium and certain growing conditions in order to develop optimally. But how do you know if the conditions offered fit the respective culture? Until visual inspection can be used to assess cell growth, it may already be too late to intervene. The easiest way to determine how far a suspension culture is in its growth curve is through biomass measurement, for example by determing optical density at 600nm (OD600). By monitoring the growth curve of the OD600, a delay, exponential and stationary phases of a culture can be identified. A common method for this is to measure with a spectrophotometer, but this requires sampling – a time-consuming task carrying the risk of contamination.

A much simpler and therefore more cost-effective way is to automatically determine biomass continuously by measuring reflection with the SFR vario BM, a new low-entry device from PreSens GmbH. Non-invasive online measuring gives you real-time information about optical density and cell dry weight. In addition, the temperature and speed are recorded. These measurements operate day and night, so you can learn in the morning what your shaking culture did during the night. Measurements can be taken in parallel in up to four shaking flasks (with volumes of 125 mL – 5 L) in each standard shaking incubator. Data transmission via Bluetooth gives you a lot of flexibility in the arrangement of the individual devices.

If you find at a later stage that you want to learn more about your culture than just the biomass development, then you can easily upgrade the SFR vario BM at any time. With the then possible oxygen, pH or CO2 measurements as well as the oxygen uptake rate (OUR), you finally know whether your shaking culture is „happy“.


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