Abstract: Filtration steps are ubiquitous in biotech processes due to the simplicity of operation, ease of scalability and the myriad of operations that they can be used for. Microfiltration, depth filtration, ultrafiltration and diafiltration are some of the most commonly used biotech unit operations. For clean feed streams, when fouling is minimal, scaling of these unit operations is performed linearly based on the filter area per unit volume of feed stream. However, for cases when considerable fouling occurs, such as the case of harvesting a therapeutic product expressed in Pichia pastoris, linear scaling may not be possible and current industrial practices involve use of 20–30% excess filter area over and above the calculated filter area to account for the uncertainty in scaling. In view of the fact that filters used for harvest are likely to have a very limited lifetime, this oversizing of the filters can add considerable cost of goods for the manufacturer. Modeling offers a way out of this conundrum. In this paper, we examine feasibility of using the various proposed models for filtration of a therapeutic product expressed in Pichia pastoris at constant pressure. It is observed that none of the individual models yield a satisfactory fit of the data, thus indicating that more than one fouling mechanism is at work. Filters with smaller pores were found to undergo fouling via complete pore blocking followed by cake filtration. On the other hand, filters with larger pores were found to undergo fouling via intermediate pore blocking followed by cake filtration. The proposed approach can be used for more accurate sizing of microfilters and depth filters.
Abstract: Fluorescent conjugated materials exhibiting reasonable biocompatibility that are capable of interacting with biological molecules are of interest for bio-sensing and imaging applications. Traditional approaches do not allow for the synthesis of conjugated materials in the presence of biologically relevant substrates. Further conjugated polymers synthesized using conventional methods are doped and not fluorescent. Here we explore the possibility of synthesizing fluorescent oligomers of indole using enzymes as catalyst under mild conditions. The peroxidase catalyzed coupling reaction presented here creates a photoluminescent material that allows for direct utilization (without purification and separation of the dopant) in biosensing applications. The polymerization reaction proceeds smoothly in just deionized water and ethanol. Monitoring of the absorption and fluorescence spectra over one hour shows that the concentration of both absorbing and emitting species grows steadily over time. The presence of anionic buffers and templates is shown to effectively retard the development of light emitting species and instead leads to the formation of an electrically doped conjugated polymer. Structural characterization through FTIR and 1H-NMR analysis suggests that the oligomer is coupled through the 2 and 3 positions on the indole ring.
Abstract: Recruitment of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) into the field of tissue engineering is a promising development since these cells can be expanded vivo to clinically relevant numbers and, after expansion, retain their ability to differentiate into various cell lineages. Safety requirements and the necessity to obtain high cell numbers without frequent subcultivation of cells raised the question of the possibility of expanding MSC in one-way (single-use) disposable bioreactors. In this study, umbilical cord-derived MSC (UC-MSC) were expanded in a disposable Z 2000 H bioreactor under dynamic conditions. Z was characterized regarding residence time and mixing in order to evaluate the optimal bioreactor settings, enabling optimal mass transfer in the absence of shear stress, allowing an reproducible expansion of MSC, while maintaining their stemness properties. Culture of the UC-MSC in disposable Z 2000 H bioreactor resulted in a reproducible 8-fold increase of cell numbers after 5 days. Cells were shown to maintain specific MSC surface marker expression as well as trilineage differentiation potential and lack stress-induced premature senescence.
Abstract: The development, optimization, and analysis of downstream processes are challenged by a high number of potentially critical process parameters that need to be investigated using lab-scale experiments. These process parameters are spread across multiple unit operations and potentially show interactions across unit operations. In this contribution, we present a novel strategy for bioprocess development that considers the risk of parameter interactions across unit operations for efficient experimental design. A novel risk assessment tool (interaction matrix) is introduced to the Quality by Design (QbD) workflow. Using this tool, the risk of interaction across unit operations is rated. Subsequently, a design of experiments (DoE) across unit operations is conducted that has the power to reveal multivariate interdependencies. The power of the presented strategy is demonstrated for protein isolation steps of an inclusion body process, focusing on the quality attribute inclusion body purity. The concentration of Triton X-100 in the course of inclusion body (IB) purification was shown to interact with the g-number of the subsequent centrifugation step. The presented strategy targets a holistic view on the process and allows handling of a high number of experimental parameters across unit operations using minimal experimental effort. It is generically applicable for process development along QbD principles.
Abstract: A steady increase of product titers and the corresponding change in impurity composition represent a challenge for development and optimization of antibody production processes. Additionally, increasing demands on product quality result in higher complexity of processes and analytics, thereby increasing the costs for product work-up. Concentration and composition of impurities are critical for efficient process development. These impurities can show significant variations, which primarily depend on culture conditions. They have a major impact on the work-up strategy and costs. The resulting “bottleneck” in downstream processing requires new optimization, technology and development approaches. These include the optimization and adaptation of existing unit operations respective to the new separation task, the assessment of alternative separation technologies and the search for new methods in process development. This review presents an overview of existing methods for process optimization and integration and indicates new approaches for future developments.
Abstract: Design and assessment activities associated with a biopharmaceutical process are performed at different levels of detail, based on the stage of development that the product is in. Preliminary “back-of-the envelope” assessments are performed early in the development lifecycle, whereas detailed design and evaluation are performed prior to the construction of a new facility. Both the preliminary and detailed design of integrated biopharmaceutical processes can be greatly assisted by the use of process simulators, discrete event simulators or finite capacity scheduling tools. This report describes the use of such tools for bioprocess development, design, and manufacturing. The report is divided into three sections. Section One provides introductory information and explains the purpose of bioprocess simulation. Section Two focuses on the detailed modeling of a single batch bioprocess that represents the manufacturing of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody (MAb). This type of analysis is typically performed by engineers engaged in the development and optimization of such processes. Section Three focuses on production planning and scheduling models for multiproduct plants.