Real-time optical density using IR light

Our built-in optical density sensors record the state of your culture every five seconds. The sensors can be oriented to record scatter (135°, 90°, or 45°) or transmission.

Choosing different angles allows for reaching into higher limits of optical density.

Top view of the Pioreactor Sleeve. Using IR light to measure cell density

Mixing and agitation

A magnetic stir bar provides agitation and mixing. RPMs range from 100 - 1000 RPM and is controlled via a feedback loop.

Graph of time versus stirring speeding show the Pioreactor control's stirring RPM via a feedback loop

Web-based interface for controlling bioreactors

The Pioreactor comes with an intuitive browser-based interface. All the Pioreactors in your cluster are controlled from a single interface.

Web interface for controlling each Pioreactor bioreactor

Attach and power external loads

The Pioreactor has four PWM (pulse width modulated) power outputs for powering external loads between 5V to 18V.

It's easy to control peristatlic pumps, valve pinches, air pumps, and more in your bioreactor.

Built-in LED references

LED light output will vary with age and temperature, and this can lead to artifacts in your data if not controlled for.

The Pioreactor has built-in LED references and is automatically applied to control for any LED dimming.

A trio of Pioreactors on a white background.

Real-time growth rates

Using biologically-inspired algorithms, the Pioreactor calculates a real-time growth rate of the culture after every optical density measurement - including during and after pumping.

Control how and when liquid is handled

Attaching peristaltic pumps to the Pioreactor allows for controlled and measured dosing and removal of media. The vial comes with four inlets/outlets that can be used for doing, sampling and air flow - each with a male luer lock connector.

Pioreactor has common modes of dosing operations like turbidostat, chemostat, morbidostat, fed-batch, but can also be programmed for more specific needs. 

Control up to four individual LEDs

Up to four 5mm LED can be addd and then controlled with the Pioreactor. This turns your bioreactor into a photo-bioreactor to grow photosynthetic microorganisms, or in optogenetic systems. Power LEDs up to 100mA.

LEDs can be programmed for day/night cycles, respond to growth rates, or any specific behaviour you need!

Insert a green 5mm LED into the Pioreactor

Heating and thermoregulation

The Pioreactor has built-in heating and temperature sensors to stabilize the temperature of the culture, from ambient temp to ~(ambient temp + 20℃). Like the LEDs and dosing, the heating can be manually and automatically controlled.

varying temperature set points and Pioreactor responding via a feedback loop.

Data exports to CSV

Almost every data point and system change is logged and recorded in an onboard SQL database. All datasets are easily exportable to CSV format from the interface. 

The Pioreactor exposes a real-time event stream for other software to listen to as well.

Web interface showing list of datasets to download.

Easy calibrations

We think calibration should be automated, and if not automated, then simple. The Pioreactor has user-friendly routines to calibrate pumps, optical density, luminosity, and more.

Programmable bioreactors at your fingertips

Design and implement your own bioreactor automations using the Pioreactor's API.

Use feedback loops to respond to how your cultures are progressing, set up alerts to other systems, or implement new machine learning models. Our software is open source, too!

Example of Python script to control the bioreactor via the Pioreactor's API

Use plugins from our community

Install plugins, created from our community of users, to further extend your Pioreactor's abilities.

Publish your custom Python code as a plugin to share with the entire community.

web interface showing available plugins to install

Compatible with your existing Raspberry Pi

Use any wifi-enabled Raspberry Pi with the Pioreactor: Raspberry Pi 3A & B, Raspberry Pi 4B, Raspberry Pi Zero W, and Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W.

Pioreactor HAT attached to a Raspberry Pi Zero 2

Culture volume

The total volume of the bioreactor is 20ml, and the working volume is 15ml.

Includes 4 male luer connections, a 15mm stir bar, and is entirely autoclavable (including cap and tubes!)

5 20ml vials with biological media in them.

Backup data between Pioreactors

When more than one Pioreactor is in your cluster, data is backed up between Pioreactors to minimize chances of data loss. 

Plugins can be installed to back up data into a private cloud as well.

Drawing of three Pioreactors connected together

Add your own sensors

The Pioreactor comes with lots of hardware IO, including a StemmaQT / Qwiic connector that allows for third party sensors to be easily integrated.

All the input/output of the Pioreactor HAT: 2x photodiodes, 4x LEDs, 5-18V aux power supply, 4x PWM, 40 pin GPIO, heater PCB, StemmaQT.

Add additional Pioreactors to your cluster

Our software and web interface can scale to any number of Pioreactors: quickly add Pioreactors to expand to the needs of your experiments and control them in parallel.

Adding new Pioreactor to your cluster using the web interface

Easy hardware assembly

The Pioreactor is no more difficult to assemble than a small Lego set.

All pieces are provided in each kit. Just bring a Raspberry Pi and your curiousity.

First step on how to build the Pioreactor

Calculate growth rates during continuous culturing

The Pioreactor can easily be used for continous cultures, including as a turbidostat or chemostat.

When using the Pioreactor with continuous cultures, growth rates are still calculated in real-time without any disruption due to liquid changing.

The growth rate and optical density plotted on a chart.

Small footprint

The Pioreactor only occupies a small area on your bench:

No pumps: 9 x 6 x 12cm

With two pumps: 9 x 15 x 15cm

dimensional drawing of the Pioreactor