As Bags Go, So Go Sensors
As disposable bags and containers have become more popular, so have single-use sensors. For example, deploying a reusable sensor makes little sense in a presterilized single-use bioreactor system, since its deployment involves breaking the sterile barrier.
“Insertion of sensors requires an aseptic environment and is disruptive and difficult to maintain in a manufacturing environment,” observes Juliette Schick, Ph.D., president of SciLog.
Jim Furey, president of PendoTech, concurs. “It comes down to whether you need sterility or not. There is a risk attaching an autoclaved transducer to a presterilized assembly. You need to do so through an aseptic connection, and in any event stainless steel pressure transducers have a limited number of autoclave cycles.” One drawback of single-use sensors, however, is that while users can check their performance, the devices cannot be calibrated in the conventional sense while the sensor resides inside a sterile bag.