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Applikon Biotechnology collaborating with Emerson in OEM digital transformation program Featured Article
Applikon Biotechnology collaborating with Emerson…

Delft, The Netherlands: - Upstream bioprocess equipment specialist Applikon Biotechnology B.V. (Applikon) has joined a strategic program spearheaded by automation technology leader Emerson designed to accelerate…

  • By Applikon Biotechnology B.V.
  • 16th Sep 2020
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Applikon Biotechnology B.V.

Applikon Biotechnology B.V. (Applikon) is a manufacturer that specializes in upstream bioprocess equipment for the life sciences industries. Its mission is to provide reliable solutions for the bioprocess market to enable an improved quality of life.

Applikon’s core business is in the development and supply of advanced bioreactor systems from laboratory scale, to pilot, to production scale. We partner with customers to implement scalable platforms from initial screening through development and full-scale production. Our global client base includes pharma and biotech companies, food industry, CROs, CMOs, governmental and academic organizations.

Applikon’s systems uniquely focus on minibioreactor and microbioreactor applications, offering complete solutions at very small scale, generating results that can be up scaled to full production quantity.

Products & Services

Applikon designs, develops and assembles bioreactor systems, with all design and manufacturing conducted in-house. The Applikon portfolio covers the following principal product and service areas:

Cultivation Systems:
A complete range of bioreactor solutions ranging from 10 mL micro bioreactors all the way up to 15.000 liter bioreactors. The range includes single-use bioreactors, glass autoclavable bioreactors, stainless steel bioreactors, Alcohol Fermentation Monitors, RAM Resonance Acoustic Mixer and micro-flasks. .

BioBundle Turnkey Systems
All-in-one complete bioreactor systems, equipped with all necessary components and ready to use “out-of-the-box”. These are based either on Applikon’s my-Control or ez2-Control automation systems.

BioSep Acoustic Perfusion System:
The Applikon BioSep system is a unique, cell retention device for high-density perfusion, concentration and washing processes. Instead of a physical mesh or membrane, it uses high frequency resonant ultrasonic waves to separate cells, delivering all the benefits of traditional devices but without their inherent fouling or clogging limitations. BioSep can be applied in continuous mode from lab scale to production scale (1000L/day) across a range of applications such as cell screening and medium optimization.

Process Control Systems
A range of in-house developed process control systems to automate bioprocesses including my-Control for maximum performance from mini bioreactors, ez2-Control adaptive control for quick set up of lab scale operations, i-Control ultimate in control for pilot scale and production scale operations, allowing a large number of inputs and outputs based on industrial fieldbus and a choice of PLC platforms, in-Control: stand-alone process controller for laboratory scale bioreactors, and SUB-Control easy to operate industrial control system with extended control possibilities developed for single use bioreactors with volume up to 2000L.

Sensors & Analysis
A range of proprietary AppliSens sensors, monitoring and management solutions based on advanced technologies. These include pH+ Sensor for bioprocess measurement, DO sensors for fermentation and cell culture applications, retractable TracFix Sensor Holder, Optical cell image analyzer based on patented Differential Digital Holographic Microscopy and Lumisens optical dissolved oxygen sensor specifically designed for bioreactor use. Furthermore, Applikon provides a range of Hamilton sensors.

Software & Automation
A range of of in-house developed software packages that provide solutions to different aspects of bioprocesses. These include: BioXpert; a SCADA-based software tool designed specifically for biotech researchers and production operators that controls bioprocesses and stores process data., Lucullus Process Information Management (PIM) Software that includes functionality for SCADA, DoE, Reactor Planning, Media Preparation and Tracking, Parallel Processing, Data Mining and Batch Reporting, and V-Control application for the an Emerson DeltaV Discovery platform that provides full DeltaVTM functionality, but with reduced footprint and cost.

Service & Maintenance
Applikon’s AppliCare is a full-range calibration, repair, maintenance, modification and spares service delivered by engineers in-house trained in bioprocesses who not only know how to maintain and repair equipment but also solve process issues.

Sales are conducted through a distributor network, covering more than 35 countries, backed up by a service organisation of in-house trained engineers for global installation, training, and repair.


The excellence of Applikon small-scale bioreactor solutions is passed on a series of proprietary technologies that are mutually supporting. These include:

  • MiniBio: A range of very small-scale bioreactors (250 ml – 1L total volume) that replicate the functionality and flexibility of laboratory scale bioreactors up to 15 liters. MiniBio systems can be customized to fit the demands of any process, while compact design reduces media costs and minimizes footprint. MiniBio technology offers a set of clear benefits including generating more data in less time, easy setup and operation, scalable results and easy data handling.
  • micro-Matrix: The next generation in microbioreactors offers total control over 24 independent bioreactors in a simple microtiter plate footprint. Like larger stirred-tank relatives, each plate offers independent measurement and two-sided control over key variables including pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen content and up to four separate gas additions. A major feature of the instrument is the software for processing, data storage, data presentation and data analysis.
  • my-Control: Applikon’s dedicated control system for small-scale bioreactors can be used for both cell culture and microbial cultures with advanced software that makes it possible to switch from microbial to cell culture configuration in seconds. The built-in web server allows the my-Control to be operated by any computer with a web browser or wireless mobile devices.
  • Lucullus: This unique Process Information Management System (PIMS) provides a tool that turns data into useful Information, offering an integrated workflow solution that starts with planning and ends with data analysis in upstream fermentation development. Lucullus integrates bioprocess control systems from a variety of suppliers and all laboratory instrumentation into a single software solution, automates information extraction by consolidating data analysis procedures into one step and generates a consolidated workflow that offers a structured approach to experimental design, experiment preparation, execution and data analysis. Uniquely, Lucullus covers the entire bioprocess, allowing smaller organizations to gain optimal results from limited resources or enabling multiple teams on different sites to coordinate and align their efforts.
  • Lumisens: The AppliSens sensor division has developed the Lumisens Optical Dissolved Oxygen sensor for mini bioreactor use. The smart sensor design separates the electronics from the glass sensor part guaranteeing a long sensor life with repeated sterilizations. The electronics is positioned in place on the sensor part by magnets to guarantee reproducible positioning and good measurements. Unlike classical polarographic dissolved oxygen sensors the optical measurement does not need polarization and is instantly ready for use.

Structure and history:

Applikon Biotechnology has a more than 40 year history that extends back to 1973 when it was first established as Applikon BV, a subsidiary of glass industry manufacturer Pieterman BV, to sell biotechnology scientific equipment from Pieterman and Swiss-based Metrohm and later other foreign companies.

Initially based in Vlaardingen, NL, Applikon moved in 1978 to Schiedam, where it began manufacturing special analyzer equipment for the environmental and the process industries, as well as small bioreactor systems with control equipment. By the early 1980s, booming bioreactor sales had expended Applikon’s activities across Europe and to the USA with an American subsidiary based in Austin, Texas, established in 1983.

The following year, ownership of Applikon passed to Metrohm, soon followed by expansion of the main manufacturing facilities to 2000 sq. meters and transfer of biotechnology activities to a new entity, Applikon Dependable Instruments (ADI). The product portfolio expanded to include in situ sterilizable systems and microprocessor control instrumentation.

In 1988, Applikon moved its US base to Foster City, California, while increased European academic collaborations drove forward further product innovations. With the acquisition of the Contact Flow bioreactor program in Ridderkerk, Applikon gained expertise in vaccine production technology developed in partnership with the Dutch Institute for Environmental and Human health issues in Bilthoven.

By 1990, the Schiedam facility had expanded five-fold to 10,000 m2, while ADI had acquired a stake in analyzer equipment specialist Instrumek BV.

1992: In collaboration with DHV, Amersfoort and the RIVM, Bilthoven, Applikon was awarded an order from the Chinese government to build large-scale vaccine plants in China. By securing and successfully completing this project, Applikon became a significant force in large-scale biotech production.

In 1998, as biotechnology activities continued to expand, AppliSens was formed as a new division to specialize in sensor technology and special separation systems for perfusion cell cultures.

In 2004: Applikon Biotechnology BV, including AppliSens, was split off as a separate company from ADI and in 2008 became the focus of a management buy out by its current leadership team; Arthur Oudshoorn (Managing Director), Erik Kakes (International Sales & Marketing Director) and Jaap Oostra (Director Engineering & Product Development).

In 2013, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands opened the new Applikon HQ at Delft.

In January 2020, Applikon became a fully owned subsidiary of Getinge AB, the Swedish-based leading global provider of products and systems contributing to quality enhancement and cost efficiency within healthcare and life sciences.

Quality and Regulatory

All Applikon processes are ISO certified to ISO 9001 standard, with its state -of-the-art facilities in Delft certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) as ISO 9001:2015 compliant. The certification covers bioreactor development, production, sales, service, customer support, and customized bioreactor system design.

Applikon research and production facilities also comply with GLP, GMP, GAMP and ASME BPE standards.

Applikon fermenters and bioreactor systems are also CE-marked as meeting the CE guideline on Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) that is mandatory within the European Economic Area (EU plus Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein) for all pressure equipment with internal pressure exceeding 0.5 bars.

Applikon equipment is validated for human vaccine production. The company is frequently audited by authorities and customers.

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