Stratophase Ltd Collaborates with LGC on Real-Time Monitoring Of 3D Cell Culture Growth

Published: Nov 10, 2010

Romsey, UK – 10 November 2010 – Stratophase, a specialist in real-time chemical and biochemical measurement and detection, has announced that it is collaborating with LGC (, the UK’s designated National Measurement Institute for chemical and bioanalytical measurement, to validate Stratophase’s novel technology, which has the potential to improve cell bioprocessing methods.

Cell-based measurements underpin research and development pipelines of key UK industries, including pharmaceutical, cosmetics and healthcare. Improving the cell manufacturing scale-up process offers potential benefits to the biopharma and regenerative medicine sectors by reducing costs of cell-based products, and improving the speed to clinic.

Current monitoring of the growth of the cells in a bioreactor system usually requires sub-sampling to measure cell number, a procedure which increases the risk of bio-contamination. Therefore the ability to monitor cell growth continually, and subsequently optimise conditions for increased yield and purity is vital. LGC has extensive experience in the scale-up of mammalian cells for biomarker expression, genetic stability testing and cell therapy and is employing a novel imaging system to measure cell growth accurately on a three dimensional (3D), free floating scaffold in a bioreactor system.

By using Stratophase’s innovative SpectroSens insertion probe, LGC has demonstrated its potential to improve the monitoring of cell growth in a 3D culture by enabling real-time measurement of nutrient metabolism and the build-up of waste products. SpectroSens complements standard bioreactor probe technologies for measuring pH and oxygen levels, offering a powerful tool for real-time monitoring of changes within the bioreactor system, and enabling better control over the bioreactor environment to promote optimal cell growth.

Damian Marshall, LGC’s Principal Scientist for cell biology, commented, “We are pleased to be involved in demonstrating how the SpectroSens monitoring technology can help maximise cell growth rates while minimising undue cellular stress, opening a route to rapid process development and scale-up, key to enabling cell therapies to become a mainstream medical treatment.”

Richard Williams, Stratophase’s chief executive said, “Our SpectroSens technology has already proven itself in the real-time monitoring of a number of processes such as fermentations and continuous flow reactions. We are delighted to build on this success by working with LGC to demonstrate its ability to improve the monitoring of 3D cell culture, with the ultimate aim of fast-tracking the development of cell therapies”.

For further information about Stratophase and the SpectroSens system, please visit

About Stratophase:

Stratophase is a VC-funded spin-out from the University of Southampton in the UK. Its unique SpectroSens technology is an optical microchip sensor which measures chemical processes and detects biological targets. This core optical measurement technology can be realised in a vast array of sensing heads, offering a wide variety of system configurations applicable to a broad spectrum of industries including chemical and biochemical production as well as biological detection.

The Stratophase team, guided by CEO Dr Richard Williams, includes the original inventors of the SpectroSens technology as well as senior managers with a vast array of industry experience.

About LGC:

LGC ( is an international science-based company and market leader in analytical, forensic and diagnostic services and reference standards. A progressive and innovative enterprise, LGC operates in socially responsible fields underpinning the safety, health and security of the public and the regulation of industry, for UK government departments and blue chip clients.

LGC operates internationally through four divisions - LGC Forensics, LGC Genomics, LGC Standards and LGC Science & Technology, which includes specialist laboratories delivering contracts for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and supporting LGC's designated role as the UK's National Measurement Institute for chemical and bioanalytical measurement.

Our operations are extensively accredited to international quality standards such as ISO 17025. With headquarters in Teddington, South West London, the LGC Group employs 1,400 staff in 27 laboratories and centres across Europe and at sites in India and China. Privatised in 1996 and now majority-owned by funds managed by Bridgepoint, LGC was founded almost 170 years ago as the Laboratory of the Government Chemist - a statutory function maintained by LGC today.

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