Increasing cost pressures are driving the rapid adoption of disposables in bioprocessing. While well ensconced in lab-scale operations, the lower operating/ validation costs at larger scale and relative ease of use are leading to these systems entering all stages and operations of a typical biopharmaceutical manufacturing process. Here, we focus on progress made in the incorporation of disposable equipment with sensor technology in bioprocessing throughout the development cycle. We note that sensor patch technology is mostly being adapted to disposable cell culture devices, but future adaptation to downstream steps is conceivable. Lastly, regulatory requirements are also briefly assessed in the context of disposables and the Process Analytical Technologies (PAT) and Quality by Design (QbD) initiatives. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2009;102: 348–356. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.