Optura Spy – Contactless measurement of biomass

Optura Spy from Aber Instruments is a state-of-the-art measuring device for the optical determination of cell concentration in bioreactors. By measuring the reflection of transmitted light, the system can continually monitor the biomass on-line and in real time. Detection uses the near-infrared light range and is contact-free. The Optura Spy is attached to the outer wall of the bioreactor or shaking flask using an adapter.  The probe can be used on glass or plastic vessels with a wall thickness of up to 4.3 mm, and offers a measurement range of 0.03 to 600 at an OD of 600. With a measuring depth of maximum 3 cm, the device is also suited for smaller-volume vessels.


Optura Spy results can be calibrated using off-line measurements. The calibration curves generated in this manner can be saved in the software and used for future runs. Optura Spy reliably measures in areas of low and high cell concentration, and is characterized by precise, highly linear result curves.

Another feature of Optura Spy is that the measurement results are not distorted by the effect of ambient light. Coloured media additives have no impact on the quality of detection and a bubble filter algorithm actively removes any background noise resulting from bubble formation. Optura Spy is a reliable solution for fast, contact-free monitoring of biomasses in biotechnology processes.

Technical data



Minimal detection volume: 200 µl
Vessel wall thickness: 0.2 to 4.3 mm
Wavelength: 1,330 nm
Cell concentration range: Minimal cell concentration:
>0.01 g/l DCW S. cerevisiae (Sensor type A & B) ca. 0.03 Abs. OD600
>.,05 g/l DCW S. cerevisiae (Sensor type C & D) ca. 0.127 Abs. OD600

Maximal cell concentration:
>175 g/l DCW S. cerevisiae (alle sensor types)
Resolution: best case: 8.45e-10 % Reflexion 
Stability: 0.24% @ 100 g/l yeast solution over a 35 min period
Power supply: 24 V DC
Spy sensor cable length: 2 m
Operating temperature: 5 to 70 °C (40 to 160 °F)
Ambient operating conditions: 15 to 45 °C (59 to 113 °F)
Performance verification: Reflectance standard (Low and High)
Laser class product: Class M1
Averaging time window: 30 s to 8 min



Spy Sensors
8500-06 Optura Spy Sensor A - For wall thickness 0.2-1.1 mm
8500-07 Optura Spy Sensor B - For wall thickness 1.1-2.3 mm
8500-08 Optura Spy Sensor C - For wall thickness 2.3.-3.3 mm
8500-09 Optura Spy Sensor D - For wall thickness 3.3-4.3 mm
8500-29 Optura Spy Sensor TF
  Accessories and Consumables
8500-83 Optura Spy - Sensor Verification Standard
8500-30 Optura Spy - Sensor Verification Standard TF
8500-42 Din Rail Mounting Kit
8510-ST/10 Optura Spy - standard vessel adaptor - Pack of 10
8510-ST/20 Optura Spy - standard vessel adaptor - Pack of 20
8510-ST/50 Optura Spy - standard vessel adaptor - Pack of 50
8510-FL/10 Optura Spy - Flush Vessel Adaptor - Pack of 10
8510-FL/20 Optura Spy - Flush Vessel Adaptor - Pack of 20
8510-FL/50 Optura Spy - Flush Vessel Adaptor - Pack of 50


Technical Service

During our business hours, our free telephone support will be glad to assist you in case of any questions. Our Technicians take care of the delivery and installation of original spare parts of the highest quality as well as certified testing, measuring, and control equipment. Our maintenance according to manufacturer specifications includes functional tests, cleaning, accuracy testing with calibration as well as a detailed report. In addition, our maintenance contracts protect your investments and reduce the total cost of ownership.

Detailed information about our support options can be found here.

Logo Aber Instruments
Aber Instruments

ABER, based out of the UK, with an expanding 60 strong technical team pioneered the use of dielectric spectroscopy for the bioprocess and brewing industries over 30 years ago. The company’s reputation as the ‘trusted’ provider and market leader, comes from this in-depth and extensive knowledge gained through invention and innovation. ABER always prides itself in going above and beyond in customer service & support. ABER’s Dielectric spectroscopy technology, also referred to as bio-capacitance, is used successfully in the bioprocess industry to measure cell density in bioreactors.

More about ABER Instruments: www.aberinstruments.com

125 employees
10 locations in europe
32 years of experience
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