A total of 77 references pertaining to the subject were consulted to compose the present review. In addition to their years of publication (1981-1983), the references were selected primarily for their practicality and ability to provide experimental results and confirmation. First, a generalized model illustrating the biochemical reaction engineering considerations is presented. Here the knowledge of reactor and reaction kinetics is emphasized and the need for process instrumentation identified. Recent developments in key process sensors are then discussed in detail along with their utilities in various process situations. Finally, application of control principles and on-line computers to biochemical process operation is given a realistic evaluation by considering the process dynamics and instrumentation capabilities. Future challenges and opportunities from both the reaction engineering and system engineering points of view are carefully assessed. The most recent review relevant to the subject is that by Bull (1983).