On-line monitoring and control of cell culture fermentation is important for optimal and consistent production of biologicals. In this work, glucose and lactate concentrations are monitored on-line using a commercially available analyzer (Model 2700, Yellow Springs Instruments, Yellow Springs, OH) during batch and perfusion hybridoma cell fermentation. Cell free samples from the reactor are obtained using a 0.45 mum hollow fiber filtering system placed in a circulation loop. The samples were analyzed at specified times and the data are collected on a computer. A process control strategy was developed to control the concentrations of glucose and lactate in a perfusion reactor where the feed rate is adjusted to maintain their concentrations at desired set points. Hybridoma cells (A10G10) were cultivated in a high density perfusion culture where cell density increased from 2 to 14 million cells/mL. During this period the control algorithm successfully adjusted the perfusion rate while maintaining constant glucose and lactate concentrations. Glucose consumption and lactate accumulation rates as well as net lactate yield on glucose were monitored continuously during perfusion culture. These metabolic rates were observed to be independent of cell concentration and were used for the estimation of viable cell density in the reactor. (c) 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Biotechnol Bioeng 53: 372-378, 1997.