Trio for bio

HORIBA UK has joined Scotland’s Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), adding its expertise in the measurement and control of high value product (HVP) processing. The company joins IBioIC as an Associate Member and will be making available technological expertise from its portfolio of core measurement and control technologies.

For instance, in measurement, HORIBA is world-renowned for its spectroscopic capabilities. These include Raman, Fluorescence and Particle-sizing technologies, as used to establish ‘molecular fingerprints’ for materials and determine critical quality attributes (CQAs). HORIBA also has a wealth of instrumentation expertise when it comes to measuring and recording critical process parameters (CPPs) such as conductivity, pH and dissolved oxygen (DO). In the fluid and liquid control domains, HORIBA is the global leader in mass flow controllers (MFCs), which provide high-accuracy, high-repeatability and highly reproducible results.

As a specialist body in the Industrial Biotechnology (IB) sector, IBioIC’s role is to stimulate Scotland’s growth and success in the IB sector. Ian Archer, technical director of IBioIC, comments: “HORIBA brings technologies to the IB sector that aren’t used extensively yet, but which will be of paramount importance as manufacturing processes mature and attention turns to ensuring high yields.”

Archer goes on to explain that the bio market is not just about medicines, foods, cosmetics and fuel. Other products that are set to rely on IB technologies include sustainable acrylics for use in glasses/spectacles and paint (made from fibre extracted from carrots and sugar beet).

“Industrial Biotechnology spans many sectors,” continues Archer, “and, as IB matures, it will face many of the issues the petrochemical industry faced and still faces. Just as fluctuations in oil prices affect the petrochemical industry, for IB it will be things like fluctuations in the prices of other raw materials, such as sugar. To protect against such fluctuations, manufacturers can afford little waste in either high-value-low-volume or low-value-high-volume production scenarios.”

However, biotech metrology is complicated. Archer adds: “Whilst it’s easy to monitor parameters like pressure and temperature, bio, by its very nature, means there are changes taking place at the molecular and protein levels within live cultures. These changes are impossible to understand using any of the easy-to-measure parameters.”

Phil Burnside, business development manager of HORIBA UK, comments: “HORIBA is not instantly recognised in the Industrial Bio sector, but that’s about to change. We have over 65 years’ experience in advanced measurement and precision control, and a proven track-record in other HVP industries. We have, for example, developed rapid microorganism detection systems, delivered Raman spectroscopy into real-time process control applications and brought our fluorescence Absorbance, Transmission & Excitation Emission Matrix, ATEEM, technologies to cell culture monitoring applications. In many respects, industrial bio is a sector that’s emerged as an ideal fit for our capabilities, technologies and products. By joining IBioIC, we hope to help other members solve emerging problems because we can provide a complete picture of what’s going on inside a bioreactor.”

HORIBA is exhibiting (stand 24) at the IBioIC’s 5th annual conference, Glasgow, on 30th and 31st January 2019 and Phil Burnside will be presenting a poster session entitled ‘Single-use pH Electrodes for Cell Culture Medium Monitoring.’ Registration for the event is now open and through the IBioIC’s website,

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