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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Control of Specific Growth Rate in Fed-Batch Bioprocesses: Novel Controller Design for Improved Noise Management

1
School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
2
School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland
3
I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland
4
Advanced Processing Technology Research Centre, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2020, 8(6), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8060679
Received: 27 April 2020 / Revised: 28 May 2020 / Accepted: 6 June 2020 / Published: 9 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioprocess Monitoring and Control)
Accurate control of the specific growth rate (µ) of microorganisms is dependent on the ability to quantify the evolution of biomass reliably in real time. Biomass concentration can be monitored online using various tools and methods, but the obtained signal is often very noisy and unstable, leading to inaccuracies in the estimation of μ. Furthermore, controlling the growth rate is challenging as the process evolves nonlinearly and is subject to unpredictable disturbances originating from the culture’s metabolism. In this work, a novel feedforward-feedback controller logic is presented to counter the problem of noise and oscillations in the control variable and to address the exponential growth dynamics more effectively. The controller was tested on fed-batch cultures of Kluyveromyces marxianus, during which μ was estimated in real time from online biomass concentration measurements obtained with dielectric spectroscopy. It is shown that the specific growth rate can be maintained at different setpoint values with an average root mean square control error of 23 ± 6%. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioprocess monitoring and control; specific growth rate control; signal noise management; dielectric spectroscopy; PAT; microbial bioprocessing bioprocess monitoring and control; specific growth rate control; signal noise management; dielectric spectroscopy; PAT; microbial bioprocessing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Brignoli, Y.; Freeland, B.; Cunningham, D.; Dabros, M. Control of Specific Growth Rate in Fed-Batch Bioprocesses: Novel Controller Design for Improved Noise Management. Processes 2020, 8, 679.

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