Automated Bioreactor Sample Delivery to the Vi-CELL BLU Cell Viability Analyzer

Are you tired of running the risk of contaminating your mammalian cell experiment through frequent manual pipetting? Do you want to lower the risk of human errors while diluting your samples for cell viability testing?

The need for automated bioreactor sampling and sample dilution is being driven by several factors, including increased demand for high-throughput bioprocess development and the progression of high-cell-density cell culture manufacturing processes.

As a result of these factors, industry trends are moving toward the implementation of automated sampling and sample preparation strategies that are designed to bring analytics closer to the operation, eliminate gaps in real-time process monitoring and develop a more rapid, deeper understanding of the bioprocess.

For automated bioreactor sampling and cell analysis to be an effective tool, certain criteria need to be met. The technology should:

  1. Provide rapid and accurate cell analysis that performs as good as, or better than, the manual off-line analytical method.
  2. Reduce analytical variability and sample contamination due to manual sampling and operator-to-operator error.
  3. Facilitate a scale-independent strategy that allows the same analytical instrumentation to be used from the laboratory through production.
  4. Allow the integration of other third-party analyzers, e.g., biochemistry analyzers and HPLC systems, to facilitate a comprehensive PAT platform.
  5. The real-time data generated by the cell analyzer should be seamlessly integrated into the process supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) or bioprocess management system.

A Bioreactor Sampling and Sample Dilution Analysis Solution

The integration of the Seg-Flow S3 automated sampling system with the Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer removes error-prone manual steps while enabling load-and-go sample runs for up to eight bioreactors, GMP compliance with electronic data management, and 24/7 control of viable cell density. It’s also fully compatible with both automated and manual walk-up samples.

The Seg-Flow S3 is the newest generation of automated sampling systems from Flownamics. It enables rapid and accurate sampling for bioreactors or process streams and, when paired with a Sample-Mod S3, can perform in-line dilutions (up to 1:20 ratio) and deliver samples to up to four cell viability analyzers simultaneously.

When integrated with the Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer, you get an automated, precise, repeatable and rapid cell analysis platform for real-time characterization of bioprocess cell cultures.

vi-cell blu flownamics integration

How the Integration Works

The Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer coupled with the Seg-Flow S3 system provides automated, online analytical solutions for improved bioprocess culture monitoring.

The Seg-Flow S3 system, which can be interfaced with almost any vessel type or scale, draws samples from one to eight bioreactor vessels and delivers each sample to the Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer. Once the cell analysis is complete, the Seg-Flow system acquires and processes the Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer data to provide real-time monitoring of bioprocess cultures.



The Seg-Flow S3 pulls continuous and/or scheduled samples from a bioreactor, performs in-line dilution, if needed, and delivers the samples to the Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer. The Vi-CELL BLU provides the analyzed data to the Seg-Flow S3 via the API, which is then sent to the SCADA system. All fluid paths and sample reservoirs are fully cleaned to ensure consistent and accurate measurements for the next sample.

For more information about Flownamics and the Seg-Flow S3 automated sampling system, visit


General Questions

Yes, the integrated Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer cell viability analyzer can still be used for normal walk-up samples. The only time the Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer is unavailable for manual walk-up samples is when the Seg-Flow S3 is sending the sample to the Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer cell viability analyzer.

The maximum distance between a bioreactor and the Seg-Flow S3 is 25 ft (7.62 m). The maximum distance between the Seg-Flow S3 and the Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer is 6 ft (1.83 m).

Yes, the user has complete control over the sampling schedule. The FlowWeb software can perform scheduled sampling on specific dates and times.

The minimum sample volume removed from the reactor is 2 ml. This includes the purge cycle and the representative sample.

The Seg-Flow S3 uses Flownamics’ patented Segmented Sampling Process. This process eliminates dead volume issues within the system with the exception of the dip tube or sample port of the reactor. The dead volume of the dip tube or sample port of the reactor is typically 1 to 5 ml. This is dependent upon the type of reactor and the connection.

Yes, the Seg-Flow S3 and Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer integration is completely automated and does not require any manual steps to start the measurement process.

Yes, Flownamics’ patented Segmented Sampling Process uses sterile air to transport the sample from the reactor or process steam to the Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer or other analytical device.

The FlowWeb software can be configured to perform auto dilutions if the cell density is higher than 15M.

The IQ/OQ protocol is currently in development and projected to be available in Q4 of 2022. However, IQ/OC for Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer is available as per Beckman Coulter Life Sciences offerings.

Please reference the Seg-Flow S3 and Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer virtual demo video on the Flownamics website to see the integration process.

The full sample cycle time is 10 to 25 minutes. This is dependent upon the required dilution steps and the distance between the components and the reactors.

Yes, on-site demos are possible. For Vi-CELL BLU cell viability analyzer demos, please contact your Beckman Coulter Life Sciences representative. For Seg-Flow S3 + Vi-CELL BLU demo, please go through Flownamics´ website

Request more information about the Vi-CELL BLU.