Frequently Asked Questions

1) What are the applications of Solaris’ fermenters/bioreactors?
Solaris’ fermenters and bioreactors, designed for both microbial fermentations and cell cultures, are used for teaching, research & development, optimization and production of pharmaceuticals, cosmeceuticals, nutraceuticals, foods & beverages, chemicals, petrochemicals and in the advanced fields of biotechnology, bioplastics and biofertilizers. Within these industries, they are used in both the areas of fermentation and life sciences.

2) Which is the range of volumes of Solaris’ fermenters/bioreactors?
Solaris’ fermenters/bioreactors are available in a range of volumes that scales from the benchtop lab sizes, through the full range of the pilot scales and up to the largest industrial scale systems. The minimum capacity starts from 120 ml and goes well over 30.000 liters.

3) Can Solaris’ fermenters/bioreactors be sterilized?
Yes, Solaris’ fermenters/bioreactors are completely sterilizable. Sterilization is performed in the autoclave (Io, Jupiter, One, Elara ST, Elara Flat), with steam (Genesis, M Series, S Series, I Series) and/or, optionally, with electrical heaters for SIP (sterilizable-in-place) stainless steel units.

4) Can Solaris’ fermenters/bioreactors be pressurized?
Yes, all Solaris’ stainless-steel fermenters and bioreactors can be pressurized, with different ranges of pressure depending on the specific model. However, the Jupiter (autoclavable borosilicate glass vessel) can also be pressure controlled up to 1.6 bar in its smallest volumes (2 L, 4 L).

5) How do Solaris’ fermenters/bioreactors perform thermoregulation?
Solaris’ fermenters and bioreactors perform thermoregulation in several ways: electrically with a Peltier Cell (IO), with water jacket and electrical heaters (Jupiter, Elara St) or steam (Genesis), with heating blanket and cooling finger (One), with a Thermobox consisting of a heat exchanger and a recirculating pump (Elara Flat). Pilot and industrial units, instead, always use a water jacket for thermoregulation.

6) Can Solaris’s fermenters/bioreactors be customized?
Yes, Solaris’ pilot-industrial series, S & I, are completely customizable. Indeed, the project starts with client’s user requirements with the objective of optimizing solutions tailored on the very specific needs of each user.

7) How many and what type of peristaltic pumps are in the standard configurations of Solaris’ benchtop fermenters/bioreactors?
All Solaris’ benchtop fermenters/bioreactors have four peristaltic pumps Watson Marlow 114FD (fixed speed 60 rpm) type integrated in the standard configuration, except for the mini-fermenter IO which integrates two 114FD and two 400 F/A (fixed speed 35 rpm). Also, entry level system One can be equipped with any number (up to four) and type of peristaltic pumps which the customer can choose as they prefer.
It is further possible to add additional external peristaltic pumps to the basic configuration, as for instance the WM 114 ST (stepper) and the WM 120 OEM types.

8) What parameters can be used to control the process?
Solaris’ fermenters and bioreactors can be equipped with several options of measurement and control: temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, antifoam, level, redox, conductivity, dissolved CO2, cell density (total cells, viable cells) and weight.

9) How can I control the gas mixing?
Gas mixing can be controlled with Thermal Mass Flow Controllers (TMFC), rotameters or solenoid valves. All the Solaris’ benchtop units (except for the One) and the M Series are set up with a TMFC for air in the basic configuration. It is then possible to add additional TMFCs (up to 4) or solenoid valves. However, in the entry level One system it is completely up to the client which controls (TMFC, rotameters or solenoid valves) to integrate in the system, with the limit of 4 total. While, for the pilot-industrial customizable series, type and number of gas mixing options are at the customers’ discretion.

10) Is it possible to add accessories to Solaris’ fermenters/bioreactors?
Yes, it is possible to combine several types of accessories to Solaris’ fermenters and bioreactors, whether they are already included or not in Solaris’ portfolio. Among them: chillers, gas analysers (Metis), balances, Thermobox (consisting of a heat exchanger and a recirculating pump to be used for thermoregulation), external peristaltic pumps, centrifuges and Tangential Flow Filtration (TFF) systems.

11) Is it possible to try the products before purchasing them?
Yes, it is possible to try benchtop fermenters/bioreactors before purchasing, with the formula “Try Before You Buy”. The clients will have access to the Solaris Labs where they will perform a bioprocess, assisted by Solaris’ staff.

12) Is it possible to rent the products?
Yes, it is possible to rent benchtop fermenters/bioreactors for a period of minimum 6 – maximum 12 months, with monthly payment. The rented unit will have the configuration chosen by the client.

13) What software controls Solaris’ fermenters/bioreactors?
Solaris’ benchtop fermenters/bioreactors are controlled by the proprietary software Leonardo, an intuitive and user-friendly controller managing all the different process phases. Leonardo records and graphs all the data in real-time, it stores the logs and can manage up to 24 units in parallel. Plus, with the Logic Parser function, custom programs can be created and added to the default control loops.
On the other hand, pilot and industrial series (S and I) are controlled by the SBC-16 software, designed to provide a high level of automated management of the fermentation, upstream and downstream processes.

14) Can I control the fermenter/bioreactor by remote from outside the lab?
Yes, with the remote control integrated in the Leonardo software, it is possible to manage the process from outside the lab, through laptop, tablet or smartphone.

15) Which are the dimensions of the controller (PCS) of benchtop fermenters?
LEM01, Solaris’ benchtop units Process Control System (PCS) is a compact cube measuring only 35 x 35 cm. In case of parallel processes, the PCSs can be stacked to save precious space in the lab.

16) Do Solaris’ fermenters/bioreactors need maintenance?
Yes, depending on the type and conditions of use, Solaris’ fermenters/bioreactors may require the replacement of some components (e.g. O-rings, sensors, filters, mechanical seal, etc.).

17) Does Solaris provide maintenance services?
Yes, Solaris provides two maintenance and service packages, with different levels of assistance.

18) When do I need to change sensors in Solaris’ fermenters/bioreactors?
The life of a sensor mainly depends on its usage. Digital sensors, which Solaris integrates into its fermenters and bioreactors, can provide precise information about the operating hours and their quality condition. With a dedicated section inside the software, it is possible to check the efficiency of the sensors. If the percentage life is very low, then they need to be replaced.

19) How can I contact you?
You can contact us on the contact page of our website, or at this email: ​ info@solarisbiotech.com For aftersales technical assistance, please contact ​ solarislab-support@solarisbiotech.com ​ for lab equipment, or ​ solarisind-support@solarisbiotech.com ​ for pilot-industrial equipment.