Near infrared spectroscopy for bioprocess monitoring and control: current status and future trends

B. McNeil, L.M. Harvey, M. Scarff, S.A. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


The development of Near Infrared Spectroscopy has paralleled that of the PC, and the application of NIR in many industries has undergone explosive growth in recent years. This has been particularly apparent in the area of microbial and cell culture system monitoring and control. Potentially, NIR offers the prospect of real-time control of the physiology of cultured cells in fermenters, leading to marked improvements in authenticity, purity and production efficiency. Despite this, NIR is not yet as widely applied within the bioprocessing industry as its potential might suggest. This review critically evaluates the development of this rapidly moving area as it pertains to microbial and cell culture system control and highlights the critical stages in the development of the technology. It indicates the work that must still be carried out if the full potential of NIR is to be exploited in making proteins, hormones and antibiotics by the fermentation route. The review comes at a particularly timely moment when NIR stands on the threshold of widespread acceptance in bioprocessing. This is the ideal moment to assess what the technology can offer the microbiologist, and where it may develop in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-39
Number of pages22
JournalCritical Reviews in Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • near infrared spectroscopy
  • bioprocess monitoring and control
  • biotechnology
  • pharmacology
  • spectroscopy
  • bioprocess monitoring


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