The need for a rapid turn-around in quantity (and the loss of technicians in many laboratories) has created a trend toward implementation of single-use vessels. Their advantages include no time lost in cleaning or sterilization (especially for bench-scale, autoclavable systems), no chance of inhibition or cross-contamination due to poor cleaning, and no need for cleaning and sterilization facilities in a crowded laboratory.
For production-scale steel bioreactors, fully automated clean-in-place (CIP) and sterilization-in-place (SIP) have been possible for decades. By contrast, bench-scale systems required considerable downtime for disassembly, cleaning, reassembly, autoclaving, and cooling before use — with no guarantee that each step was carried out correctly and reproducibly. An innovation from INFORS HT brings the advantages of CIP/SIP to bench-scale bioreactors, offering a true alternative to single-use systems for microbial applications.