Productivity improvements of mammalian cell culture in the production of recombinant proteins have been made by optimizing cell lines, media, and process operation. This led to enhanced titers and process robustness without increasing the cost of the upstream processing (USP); however, a downstream [...] Read more.
Productivity improvements of mammalian cell culture in the production of recombinant proteins have been made by optimizing cell lines, media, and process operation. This led to enhanced titers and process robustness without increasing the cost of the upstream processing (USP); however, a downstream bottleneck remains. In terms of process control improvement, the process analytical technology (PAT) initiative, initiated by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), aims to measure, analyze, monitor, and ultimately control all important attributes of a bioprocess. Especially, spectroscopic methods such as Raman or near-infrared spectroscopy enable one to meet these analytical requirements, preferably in-situ. In combination with chemometric techniques like partial least square (PLS) or principal component analysis (PCA), it is possible to generate soft sensors, which estimate process variables based on process and measurement models for the enhanced control of bioprocesses. Macroscopic kinetic models can be used to simulate cell metabolism. These models are able to enhance the process understanding by predicting the dynamic of cells during cultivation. In this article, in-situ turbidity (transmission, 880 nm) and ex-situ Raman spectroscopy (785 nm) measurements are combined with an offline macroscopic Monod kinetic model in order to predict substrate concentrations. Experimental data of Chinese hamster ovary cultivations in bioreactors show a sufficiently linear correlation (R2
≥ 0.97) between turbidity and total cell concentration. PLS regression of Raman spectra generates a prediction model, which was validated via offline viable cell concentration measurement (RMSE ≤ 13.82, R2
≥ 0.92). Based on these measurements, the macroscopic Monod model can be used to determine different process attributes, e.g., glucose concentration. In consequence, it is possible to approximately calculate (R2
≥ 0.96) glucose concentration based on online cell concentration measurements using turbidity or Raman spectroscopy. Future approaches will use these online substrate concentration measurements with turbidity and Raman measurements, in combination with the kinetic model, in order to control the bioprocess in terms of feeding strategies, by employing an open platform communication (OPC) network—either in fed-batch or perfusion mode, integrated into a continuous operation of upstream and downstream.