A new method for real-time monitoring of the oxygen uptake rate (OUR) in bioreactors, based on dissolved oxygen (DO) measurement at two points, has been developed and tested extensively. The method has several distinct advantages over known techniques.It enables the continuous and undisturbed monitoring of OUR, which is conventionally impossible without gas analyzers. The technique does not require knowledge of k(L)a. It provides smooth, robust, and reliable signal. The monitoring scheme is applicable to both microbial and mammalian cell bioprocesses of laboratory or industrial scale. The method was successfully used in the cultivation of NSO-derived murine myeloma cell line producing monoclonal antibody. It was found that while the OUR increased with the cell density, the specific OUR decreased to approximately one-half at cell concentrations of 16 x 10(6) cells/mL, indicating gradual reduction of cell respiration activity. Apart from the laboratory scale cultivation, the method was applied to industrial scale perfusion culture, as well as to processes using other cell lines. (c) 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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