• Mike Blanc

How to overcome key challenges in designing the best benchtop bioreactor

Updated: Jan 25

When you are a startup biotech, you need a real partner for deciding key upfront investments like bioreactors. Benchtop bioreactors are those who should be a perfect blend of scalability, quality, ease of use, process development, and at the same time reasonable price. With an average benchtop bioreactor costing between $30k to $250k, it is not easy for smaller biotech companies to make a decision on which one to buy. Benchtop bioreactor should have the following features:

- Benchtop size to fit your cleanroom space also can be communicating with other systems like perfusion systems, scale, supervision software, etc...

- Adequate controls for temperature, pH, dissolved gases, etc. Benchtop bioreactor should be compatible with most of the commercially available instruments.

- Ease of use with minimum training required, modular design so the operator can perform several processes.

- Fast availability from stock less than 6 months delivery time with minimal training required.

- Flexible design; good service and warranty terms which can go up to four years depending on the manufacturer. Benchtop bioreactor should be supplied with the software, protocols, and user manual for ease of use. Benchtop bioreactors should come with an intuitive and powerful software.

- Validation certificates from regulatory bodies like ISO 13485:2016 standards.

- Good after-sales support including quick spare parts availability.

The key challenges faced by startup biotech is a high upfront investment without any guarantee of success and lengthy delivery time coupled with huge training requirements and the amount of effort the manufacturer puts into ensuring that you get a working bioreactor within those six months is just not acceptable as things change very quickly in our industry. Benchtop bioreactors are not available in standard sizes with guaranteed performance, they are designed on a case-to-case basis, this is where it gets tricky for the biotech startups looking for an affordable benchtop bioreactor. Benchtop size scalability and high-quality standards are what startup biotech should be looking at

- A smooth service support network globally Benchtop bioreactors are best suited for small biotech companies who need a partner to provide the front-end support at a low cost and a partner to discuss the process. Most big suppliers would require a URS ( User requirement Specification), which is not always clearly defined. A good vendor would define the solution based on the needs, not necessarily on a URS.

- Good quality material like 316LSS, finish/polish.

- Well-designed impellers for shear-sensitive products, or viscous materials.

We will be happy to discuss your needs, and design the perfect solution for your systems.

Contact GPC bio for a demo

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