Much of the biotech industry uses bacterial cells as a key part of the research and production of biological substances including fuels, foods, medicines, hormones, enzymes, and proteins. The possibilities of biotechnology are virtually endless considering that we can even genetically engineer bacteria to program them to carry out specific tasks and output various substances. Louis Pasteur once said that you should never underestimate the power of the microbe, which the ever-increasing number of innovative solutions made possible by bacterial work is a testament to.
Any engineer or researcher at any given biotech company will testify to the fact that bacteria are often troublesome to work with and will not necessarily behave in the same way on a Monday as they do on a Thursday. Working with bacteria is also made especially difficult as it is not an easy task to do a real-time inspection of how well your bacteria are doing or have many you have. This leads to failed experiments and out-of-spec production runs more often than what you could hope for.
Over the past decade, efforts in life sciences have been made to increase the accuracy and speed of bacteria measurements. Traditional total viable counts are labor-intensive and can require up to 72 hours or more to produce a result. Rapid methods can reduce the need to make a fast measurement, but the range of rapid methods available for total viable counts is limited, often requiring large capital investment and significant tablespace on the laboratory bench.
There has been a need for years for biotech companies to have an accurate, fast, easy-to-use, and affordable solution for enumerating bacteria. Our great team at SBT has now made such a solution, BactoBox. BactoBox employs a new approach to bacteria measurements called impedance flow cytometry. We use a microfluidic flow cell to detect and count bacteria in samples based on the electrical properties of the bacteria. It has all the accuracy advantages known from fluorescence flow cytometry, but is much less workflow intensive and also a lot cheaper both in the acquisition and operating costs. This is a huge gamechanger for the research and production work within biotechnology companies.
If you can relate to the above post and want to learn more about BactoBox and how it can help you ease your bacterial workflow - please reach out to us via email [email protected]
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