17 August 2021

Recounts of a Venture Cup winner

BactoBox is a game-changer for fast, reliable, and easy tracking of cell counts in fermentation

Recounts of a Venture Cup winner

Fermentation is a metabolic process that involves the conversion of sugar, cellulosic material, and starch into food, feed, fuel, and other industrial products. This conversion uses microorganisms as raw workhorses and is carried out in bioreactors or fermenters. After this process, subsequent downstream processing is required to purify and isolate the target product.

Fermentation products are necessary ingredients utilized in the production of bio-based products, active ingredients processed through industrial fermentation techniques. They are used to manufacture various bio-based products and are environment friendly, thus are increasingly being employed in numerous industrial applications. Fermentation scientists and operators grow bacteria to produce antibiotics, probiotics, peptides, enzymes, etc. 

To reach optimal production yields of the target products within a short time, the fermentation process must be tightly controlled (e.g. feeding speed, acid/base levels, and harvesting time). These parameters are highly dependent on the biomass and concentration of microorganisms and therefore the concentration of microorganisms must be followed. Other critical control points for assessing bacterial concentrations are the recovery of cells and the removal of bacteria in the final product. Fast and accurate bacteria enumeration can be beneficial in getting insights into fermentation processes and hitting the right bacteria titers for experiments. This requires a fast, accurate on-site bacteria cell counting technology.

The novel technology, impedance flow cytometry, developed by SBT Instruments, brings an entirely new approach to bacteria quantification. It has all the accuracy advantages known from fluorescence flow cytometry but it is much more simple to operate and also a lot cheaper both in the acquisition and operating costs. Contrary to optical density measurements BactoBox provides absolute cellular concentrations. In addition to that BactoBox has the other benefits:  

·     Using Impedance flow cytometry, BactoBox produces accurate total bacteria counts in 2 minutes;

·     The device is ready to analyze the first sample within 3 minutes after turning on the power;

·     Counts all types of bacteria, including anaerobic bacteria and bacteria that are difficult to culture on plates;

·     It provides accurate data on absolute bacteria concentrations;

·     Requires practically no training to work with – simply press the button and get results;

Another advantage is that in addition to the intact cell concentration, the BactoBox also reports the particle concentrations. Conversion of intact cells to non-intact cells during fermentation is indispensable knowledge to the operator that the bacteria are dying. It lets fermentation scientists gain better insight into fermentations by providing accurate and fast bacteria counts in just a few minutes. This is a huge gamechanger for all the biotech sector and a big relief for fermentation productions.

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SBT Instruments
Symfonivej 37
2730 Herlev