The use of on-line relative permittivity (ϵ′) measurements for monitoring cultures of Sf-9 cells was evaluated in a batch culture and a batch infected with a baculovirus expressing β-galactosidase. It was found that viable cell density and volume essentially accounted for all the variation in ϵ′ in both non-infected and synchronously infected cultures, indicating that the ϵ′ of a cell suspension was sensitive only to changes in the viable cell population. Additionally the parameter provided clearly defined signposts of the progress of the infection. © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Biotechnol Bioeng 63: 122–126, 1999.
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