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LABVOLUTION 2019, 21 - 23 May
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Harnessing the power of micro-organisms

The soniccatch and sonicwipe add-on devices showcased at LABVOLUTION 2017 by TU Wien can significantly improve existing measuring systems by using standing ultrasonic waves to concentrate micro-organisms in liquids in one location.

15 Nov. 2017
TU_Wien_sonic_catch
TU_Wien_sonic_catch

Micro-organisms are all around us, and many of them perform a range of useful things in the background, which we macro-organisms aren’t usually aware of at all. However, as we increasingly learn about their capabilities, we’re now able to use them industrially to synthesize chemical substances, for example. But how can we check whether micro-organisms really are carrying out their work properly? Firstly, they need to be concentrated in one location and then kept there. Yet the bioreactors where the micro-organisms are used industrially are far from suitable. "The micro-organisms are in a liquid that is being stirred continuously. Direct analysis of the micro-organisms is often difficult," says Prof. Bernhard Lendl from the Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics at TU Wien.

However, in order to concentrate the micro-organisms near the infrared measuring device and prevent them from sticking to the measuring device’s probe, the researchers in Vienna have recently started using standing ultrasonic waves. TU Wien was at LABVOLUTION in Hannover to unveil soniccatch and sonicwipe to the international specialist audience. These are two small add-on devices that improve existing sensor measuring systems significantly. A standing sonic wave is generated directly in the bioreactor between an ultrasonic loudspeaker and a reflector. The sound pressure at the locations of wave peaks changes millions of times a second, and the cells are thus forced away from these areas. At the intersection points, on the other hand, the sound pressure remains constant, and this is precisely where the cells build up.

Micro-organisms are all around us, and many of them perform a range of useful things in the background, which we macro-organisms aren't usually aware of at all. However, as we increasingly learn about their capabilities, we’re now able to use them industrially to synthesize chemical substances, for example. But how can we check whether micro-organisms really are carrying out their work properly? Firstly, they need to be concentrated in one location and then kept there. Yet the bioreactors where the micro-organisms are used industrially are far from suitable. "The micro-organisms are in a liquid that is being stirred continuously. Direct analysis of the micro-organisms is often difficult," says Prof. Bernhard Lendl from the Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics at TU Wien.

However, in order to concentrate the micro-organisms near the infrared measuring device and prevent them from sticking to the measuring device's probe, the researchers in Vienna have recently started using standing ultrasonic waves. TU Wien was at LABVOLUTION in Hannover to unveil soniccatch and sonicwipe to the international specialist audience. These are two small add-on devices that improve existing sensor measuring systems significantly. A standing sonic wave is generated directly in the bioreactor between an ultrasonic loudspeaker and a reflector. The sound pressure at the locations of wave peaks changes millions of times a second, and the cells are thus forced away from these areas. At the intersection points, on the other hand, the sound pressure remains constant, and this is precisely where the cells build up.

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