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Title: Towards continuous biomanufacturing : a computational approach for the intensification of monoclonal antibody production
Author: Papathanasiou, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 1819
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2017
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Current industrial trends encourage the development of sustainable, environmentally friendly processes with reduced energy and raw material consumption. Meanwhile, the increasing market demand as well as the tight regulations in product quality, necessitate efficient operating procedures that guarantee products of high purity. In this direction, process intensification via continuous operation paves the way for the development of novel, eco-friendly processes, characterized by higher productivity compared to batch (Nicoud, 2014). The shift towards continuous operation could advance the market of high value biologics, such as monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), as it would lead to shorter production times, decreased costs, as well as significantly less energy consumption (Konstantinov and Cooney, 2015, Xenopoulos, 2015). In particular, mAb production comprises two main steps: the culturing of the cells (upstream) and the purification of the targeted product (downstream). Both processes are highly complex and their performance depends on various parameters. In particular, the efficiency of the upstream depends highly on cell growth and the longevity of the culture, while product quality can be jeopardized in case the culture is not terminated timely. Similarly, downstream processing, whose main step is the chromatographic separation, relies highly on the setup configuration, as well as on the composition of the upstream mixture. Therefore, it is necessary to understand and optimize both processes prior to their integration. In this direction, the design of intelligent computational tools becomes eminent. Such tools can form a solid basis for the: (i) execution of cost-free comparisons of various operating strategies, (ii) design of optimal operation profiles and (iii) development of advanced, intelligent control systems that can maintain the process under optimal operation, rejecting disturbances. In this context, this work focuses on the development of advanced computational tools for the improvement of the performance of: (a) chromatographic separation processes and (b) cell culture systems, following the systematic PAROC framework and software platform (Pistikopoulos et al., 2015). In particular we develop model-based controllers for single- and multi-column chromatographic setups based on the operating principles of an industrially relevant separation process. The presented strategies are immunized against variations in the feed stream and can successfully compensate for time delays caused due to the column residence time. Issues regarding the points of integration in multi-column systems are also discussed. Moreover, we design and test in silico model-based control strategies for a cell culture system, aiming to increase the culture productivity and drive the system towards continuous operation. Challenges and potential solutions for the seamless integration of the examined bioprocess are also investigated at the end of this thesis.
Supervisor: Pistikopoulos, Efstratios N. ; Mantalaris, Athanasios Sponsor: European Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral