Monitoring bioprocess media has been done using near infrared (NIR) technology since the early 90s. The technology is very important in real-time detection of chemical contents and vital substances found in a bioreactor. With NIR technology, people are now able to properly time the control of nutrients, and compounds are now easier to optimize.
NIR technology uses methods involving the near infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum to determine the chemical properties of a substance, such as near infrared reflectance. This technology is invaluable to medical diagnostics, since testing blood samples are made easier. It has also seen extensive use in pharmaceutical research to produce more effective medicine.
Aside from examining the human body, NIR can also be used to examine the most distant things known by humankind. Near infrared rays can be used to examine how the atmospheres of cool stars behave. Through NIR technology, astronomers can determine a star’s age, spectral type, mass, and even chemical composition by looking for signatures from certain substances.
Scientific equipment using near infrared transmission measure and analyze the chemical composition of the object being scanned. Examples of NIR instruments are spectrometer, spectrophotometer, and the spectrograph. They are also called near infrared analyzers, and each instrument is capable of detecting both mammalian and microbial cell cultures like traditional chemistry methods.
NIR technology plays an important role in different industrial sectors today. NIR instruments are essential for determining the type of carpet fiber being recycled to create newer carpets. They also help sort out different kinds of textile materials such as nylon, polyester, cotton, and wool. When combining polymers, NIR instruments help to identify which ones will blend together. Formulation of medicine such as tablets and capsules also rely on these instruments to make sure they are perfectly manufactured and effective.
Today, more industries are gradually integrating near infrared technology into their operations. Constant technological developments and ongoing scientific research paved the way for more advanced NIR technology designed for different purposes. Near infrared technology is on the rise, and it wouldn’t be surprising if today’s MRI scanners are rendered obsolete by NIR devices.