In collaboration with Nova Biomedical, Finesse Solutions has combined Nova's Bioprofile 400 mammalian cell culture analyser with an online sampler and feedback controllers. The company claims this will deliver automated on-line, round-the-clock glucose monitoring and feed control for cell culture bioprocesses to a level of control not previously attainable. Glucose monitoring and control in bioprocess manufacturing is needed to ensure the optimum conditions for growing cell cultures that produce complex therapeutic proteins such as monoclonal antibodies. Biomanufacturers have been forced to use manual methods of sample extraction and analysis to measure the glucose levels, according to Finesse. This data would then be manually fed into the bioprocess controller which would add more glucose as the cell cultures required. Larry West, executive vice-president of sales and marketing at Finesse, believes that this practice has been both costly and highly ineffective in attaining true process control. While in-line and in situ sensors for pH and dissolved oxygen are available, the implantation of an in situ glucose monitoring system has proved difficult. Any glucose sensor would need to be able to withstand the harsh sterilisation techniques used to clean bioreactors that often employ aggressive chemical cleaning methodologies or heating the reactor to temperatures over 130ºC for over 30 minutes. According to West, the latest offering is the closest thing to real-time in situ bioprocess glucose control achieved to date. The system will sample the culture every 3 minutes and can maintain a high level of process control. West continued by saying that Finesse and Nova will be showcasing a new process controller at the Interphex exhibition, based on Nova's new Flex system that will be able to measure both glucose and cell viability. West was unsure of the current market size for such a product, but believes: "if you build it they will come."