Special Issue "Sensors for Bioprocess Monitoring and Control"


A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Biosensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 August 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Bernd Hitzmann
Department of Process Analysis and Cereal Technology, Institute of Food Science and Biotechnology, University of Hohenheim, Garbenstr. 23, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
Website: https://www.uni-hohenheim.de/institution/fg-prozessanalytik-und-getreidetechnologie-8
E-Mail: Bernd.Hitzmann@uni-hohenheim.de
Phone: +49 711 459 23286
Fax: +49 711 459 23259
Interests: process analytical technologies, spectroscopic sensors, image analysis, biosensors, chemometrics, software sensors, observers, process modeling, process control algorithms, cereal technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The monitoring of bioprocesses is still a challenging task. Without real time information of the actual state, an optimal process operation cannot be guaranteed. If cultivation processes are considered, one has to deal with a complex, non-linear, multi-parameter and time variant system. Therefore, to meet the requirements for bioprocesses supervision, advanced sensor techniques are necessary. Due to the increasing use of disposable bioreactors, the sensors for these applications must also be disposable or easy to connect to the reactor. If process variables cannot be measured directly, or are too costly or time-consuming to measure, then soft-sensors can be applied. Typically several raw measurements are used in combination with an empirical or theoretical model for the prediction of process variables.

For an optimal operation of a bioreactor, not only measurements are important but also the utilization of the information in a close loop control system. In recent years, many contributions have been published dealing with closed loop control of bioprocesses, but only a minority have actually been applied in real bioprocesses; mostly simulations are used. However, for these control systems, requirements such as stability and reliability for the measurement sensors are even more of a challenge.

Review articles as well as original research papers relating to the monitoring and control of bioprocesses are solicited with particular interest in papers concerning applications where the sensor information is directly used for bioprocess automation.

Prof. Dr. Bernd Hitzmann
Guest Editor


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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  • soft-sensors
  • cultivation process
  • process supervision
  • closed loop control
  • actuator

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Displaying article 1-2
p. 17390-17405
by , , , ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(9), 17390-17405; doi:10.3390/s140917390
Received: 24 July 2014; in revised form: 2 September 2014 / Accepted: 3 September 2014 / Published: 17 September 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (710 KB) | Supplementary Files
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Bioprocess Monitoring and Control)
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p. 9949-9960
by ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(6), 9949-9960; doi:10.3390/s140609949
Received: 23 April 2014; in revised form: 12 May 2014 / Accepted: 28 May 2014 / Published: 6 June 2014
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
On-line monitoring of lipase activity by stop-flow in a sequential injection analysis using p-nitrophenyl butyrate
Authors: Jorge Pliegoa, Juan C. Mateosa, Jorge Rodrígueza, R. Fematb, F. Valeroc, María del Mar Baezac, Georgina Sandovala, Rosa Camachoa and Enrique J. Herrera-Lópeza,*
a Biotecnología Industrial, Centro de Investigación y Asistencia en Tecnología y Diseño del Estado de Jalisco A.C., Av. Normalistas 800, Colinas de la Normal, C.P. 44270 Guadalajara  CP 44270, Mexico *eherrera@ciatej.mx.
Grupo de Biodinámica y Sistemas Alineales, División de Matemáticas Aplicadas, Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica A.C., Camino a la Presa San José 2055, Lomas 4ta sección, C.P. 78216, San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
Departament d’Enginyeria Química, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Edifici Q 08193 Bellaterra, Cedanyola del Vallès, Spain
Self-made sequential injection equipment has been designed to monitor on-line lipase activity directly from a bioreactor. Lipase activity was determined spectrophotometrically, at 410 nm, by following the release of p-nitrophenol during the hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl butyrate. The system was able to measure activity in a linear range of 10–110 Units·mL-1. The equipment allowed the determination of up to seven samples per hour following kinetic reactions of 5 minute intervals, with a relative standard deviation of 8.75%. The system is able to automatically dilute the enzyme samples. The on-line data recording of lipase activity permitted various design control strategies.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Metabolic Heat as a Soft Sensor for Growth Control
Authors: R. Gustavsson, D. Paulsson and C.F. Mandenius
Affiliation: Division of Biotechnology/IFM, Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Soft sensors are the combination of robust on-line sensor signals and a mathematical model for deriving additional process information. Here we apply this principle to a microbial recombinant protein production process. Temperature sensors for the cooling of the bioreactor process are used for estimating the metabolic heat of the culture and, from that heat, the specific growth rate and active biomass concentration are derived. The estimated specific growth rate is used as a set-point to control feeding of substrates during the fed-batch phase. By applying signal filtration, smaller heat values can be used efficiently in the estimation, which makes the approach useful for industrial practice of small-scale processes with low metabolic heat generation.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Monitoring Key Parameters in Bioprocesses Using Near Infrared Spectroscopy
Authors: Elena Tamburini and Paola Pedrini
Affiliations: Department of Life Science and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Italy
Abstract: Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is known to be a rapid and non-destructive technique for process monitoring. Bioprocesses are usually chemically (ill-defined medium composition) and physically (multiphase matrix) complex, which poses an additional challenge to the development of robust calibrations. We investigated the use of NIRS for at-line, on-line and in-line monitoring of cells, substrates and product concentrations, during aerobic and anaerobic bacterial fermentations, and for the on-line monitoring of enzymatic hydrolysis of starch during bioethanol production. Calibration models performed well, both on internal and external validation. Potentially, NIR offers the prospect of real-time control of bioprocesses, leading to marked improvements in production efficiency and cost savings.

Last update: 6 June 2014

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