The increasing demand for automated cultivation of various microorganisms has led to the development of micro-bioreactors with advanced sensing technology, in particular for monitoring biomass and protein expression.
Screening medium compositions and clones as well as bioprocess development are important tasks that can be driven by automated bioreactors. Monitoring growth kinetics is a prerequisite for understanding and optimizing the whole cultivation process; for example, choosing the right time for inoculation of a pre-culture, inducing protein expression at an optimal time and determining the best harvesting point to avoid proteolytic degradation of target proteins. Based on non-invasive online monitoring signals, actions of the Hamilton Microlab STAR workstations can easily be triggered. This interaction between the Microlab STAR workstation and the BioLector (Robo-Lector) combines real-time process monitoring with systematic high-throughput experimentation automatically, offering new possibilities to study biological production systems.