A prototype miniature bioreactor system is designed to serve as a laboratory benchtop cell-culturing system that minimizes the need for relatively expensive equipment and reagents and can be operated under computer control, thereby reducing the time and effort required of human investigators and reducing uncertainty in results. The system includes a bioreactor, a fluid-handling subsystem, a chamber wherein the bioreactor is maintained in a controlled atmosphere at a controlled temperature, and associated control subsystems. The system can be used to culture both anchorage-dependent and suspension cells, which can be either prokaryotic or eukaryotic. Cells can be cultured for extended periods of time in this system, and samples of cells can be extracted and analyzed at specified intervals. By integrating this system with one or more microanalytical instrument(s), one can construct a complete automated analytical system that can be tailored to perform one or more of a large variety of assays.