Discussing Impact on Sensor Technologies from Industry Trends (INTERPHEX 2024)

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At INTERPHEX 2024, Jay Rajagopalan, senior director—Engineering & Product Management for Malema at PSG Biotech, discussed how the advancement of sensor technologies are being shaped by current industry trends.


Editor's note: this interview was originally published on PharmTech.com.

BioPharm International® spoke with Jay Rajagopalan, senior director—Engineering & Product Management for Malema at PSG Biotech, at INTERPHEX 2024, about the impact that current bio/pharm industry trends are having on the development and advancement of sensor technologies.

One trend, the process analytical technology (PAT) initiatives enacted by FDA, has greatly improved the census quality and requirements of real-time flow measurement that progresses much of the advancement in sensor developments, Rajagopalan said. These advancements are mostly associated with the process analyzer-type of devices, where, earlier, gram-size samples were taken and later tested in labs. Today, however, with the help of PAT, measurements are taken in real time in the field while the process is ongoing.

“Products, such as flow meters that I'm associated with, are [taking measurements] in real time, so they are part of the process systems. [Because of this] we are already in compliance and support [FDA’s] initiative,” Rajagopalan stated.

Real-time measurement is another important trend, he adds, noting that having more than one sensor in the sensor module itself is a practice that is gaining in popularity. “That means [there is] multi-parameter sensing,” Rajagopalan explained, “so, it is not just [about] measuring flow … [but] if you measure flow along with pressure and temperature, for example, that adds to the value of [the technology], and it [is occurring] in real time. That is really the technology which is trending now,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, single-use technology is one example of an innovation that developed in response to industry trends, Rajagopalan emphasized. Other innovations include Coriolis mass flow meters, which are designed for high-purity applications. These meters offer accurate flow measurements regardless of changes in density, viscosity, and temperature (1). Rajagopalan pointed out that these meters provide additional parameter measurements such as density and temperature in real time, and that such real-time data are helping the advancement of flow measurement.

In looking at how sensor technologies play a role in the bio/pharma industry’s move toward digitalization, Rajagopalan said that “sensors with older technologies were more analog in nature; they only provided one information which the sensor is sensing to the control system. Whereas, digitalization helps to send more data, more process variables data, through the same cable or method of communication.” Thus, customers are empowered with more quality data and more in-depth data, such as the health of the product, health of the sensor, etc. “[This] helps the customer [conduct] more predictive maintenance or predictive actions. I think digitalization is the future, so everybody is moving towards that, and so does our company,” Rajagopalan added.

INTERPHEX 2024 was held in New York City on April 16–18, 2024.


1. PSG Biotech. Coriolis Flow Meters. www.malema.com/coriolis-flow-meters-2 (accessed April 19, 2024).