The in-line measurement of plant cell biomass using radio frequency impedance spectroscopy as a component of process analytical technology
Radio frequency impedance spectroscopy (RFIS) is a robust method for the determination of cell biomass during fermentation. RFIS allows non-invasive in-line monitoring of the passive electrical properties of cells in suspension and can distinguish between living and dead cells based on their distinct behavior in an applied radio frequency field. We used continuous in situ RFIS to monitor batch-cultivated plant suspension cell cultures in stirred-tank bioreactors and compared the in-line data to conventional off-line measurements. RFIS-based analysis was more rapid and more accurate than conventional biomass determination, and was sensitive to changes in cell viability. The higher resolution of the in-line measurement revealed subtle changes in cell growth which were not accessible using conventional methods. Thus, RFIS is well suited for correlating such changes with intracellular states and product accumulation, providing unique opportunities for employing systems biot echnology and process analytical technology approaches to increase product yield and quality.