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Taking a closer look at algal blooms
Rob continued: "We've used the Algem® photobioreactors for basic cell culture for a few years now, to vary the growth conditions and amount of light that we provide for the algae. The system acts as a chemostat to regulate and monitor the algae, which saves us a great deal of time, and means we don't have to keep sampling to count algal cells; we can allow the computer to take control, and can dive in at any point to look at the metabolites produced. We can also stack multiple systems together if we need to scale up, which is a real advantage because the demand for algal biochemistry can dramatically change from a flask to a larger vessel."
"The Algem is very easy to use and has allowed us to complete our control experiments for collaborators such as the Environment Agency, the Broads Authority and Natural England. Without it, our work would be a lot more cumbersome because we can put it on in the background and just let it run; it's a very practical piece of kit," Rob concluded.