Anaerobic bacteria make up a large proportion of bacterial microflora and are associated with a number of diseases. For example, the obligate anaerobe Clostridium difficile is a potentially fatal gastrointestinal pathogen of humans and animals. Therefore, they need to be cultured in the laboratory for study. However, because they need to be cultured in the absence of oxygen, this is no easy task..

Many anaerobic bacteria grow oxygen free. For example, C. difficile is extremely sensitive to even low concentrations of oxygen in the atmosphere. An anaerobic chamber provides the most stable environment and is ideal for effective cultivation of C. difficile and other anaerobic bacteria. Here, an atmosphere containing a gas mixture (e.g. 5% CO2, 10% H2, 85% N2) can be stably maintained. To introduce and remove items (e.g. culture samples) from the chamber without significant oxygen contamination, an airlock must be used. However, this makes the common method for monitoring cell culture growth particularly tedious with the need to extract cell culture samples at regular intervals and measure them in a bench top spectrophotometer. Wouldn’t it be easier to monitor cell culture growth in situ and have the data transmitted wirelessly out of the anaerobic chamber or an airtight sealed culture flask?

The Smart Measuring Optical Device (SMOD) provides an ideal solution to this task by monitoring the Optical Density (OD600) of a culture in situ, in real- time and transmitting the data wirelessly to a computer, automatically creating a growth curve.

The SMOD is perfectly suited for the monitoring of anaerobic cell culture growth. It is introduced into the culture at the beginning of the experiment, and takes OD600 and temperature measurements at a time interval of choice (as frequent as every 10 minutes) and transmits the data wirelessly to any computer, tablet, or smartphone.