Author Archives: Thorsten Adams

Figure 1: ambr250, UniVessel SU, and BIOSTAT STR family; working volume ranges from 250 mL to 2000 L

Superior Scalability of Single-Use Bioreactors

During the past several years, single-use bioreactors have been gradually established in modern biopharmaceutical processes (1, 2). This adoption is directly linked to their unique ability to enhance flexibility and reduce investment and operational costs. Furthermore, production output can be increased, and time to market is shortened (3). Today a wide variety of single-use bioreactors exists for the cultivation of mammalian and insect cells (4), whereas only limited solutions are available for microbial cultures (5). Typically, processes are established and…

Photo 1: Different scales of single-use bioreactors with integrated, single-use pH and DO sensors;
(left to right) UniVessel SU, BIOSTAT RM 20, and BIOSTAT STR 2000 systems from Sartorius Stedim
Biotech

Integrated Optical Single-Use Sensors: Moving Toward a True Single-Use Factory for Biologics and Vaccine Production

Through the past decade, single-use bioreactors for culturing mammalian and insect cells have been widely adopted in preclinical, clinical, and production-scale biopharmaceutical facilities (1, 2). With such bioreactors in operation, monitoring and control of process parameters is vital for ensuring critical quality attributes (CQAs) of biologicals or vaccines are met for production of a safe product. Traditionally, bag-based and bench-top vessels have been fitted with conventional pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) probes similar to those used in stainless steel or…

Consistently Superior Cell Growth: Achieved with New Polyethylene Film Formulation

During the past decade, single-use bioprocessing bags and bioreactors have gained a significant foothold in the biopharmaceutical industry because they offer a number of advantages over traditional stainless steel equipment, especially for clinical production, multiproduct facilities, and emerging economies. At the same time, some companies are concerned that plastic materials might release potentially toxic substances that could affect cell growth and product titers (1). In a worst-case scenario, they could even compromise drug safety when a company uses disposable bags…

Photo 2: Tensile and flex durability tests (photos left and middle from Reference 19)

Development and Qualification of a Scalable, Disposable Bioreactor for GMP-Compliant Cell Culture

During the development of single-use, stirred-tank bioreactors (e.g., BIOSTAT STR bioreactors), different phases can be distinguished (Figure 1). First, a clear definition of the intended application and all related requirements should be captured in a user requirement specification (URS). Based on that, the single-use bioreactor design phase and the material selection phase are initiated, both closely linked to each other. During the proof-of-concept phase, relevant component- and product-based tests are established and realized to ensure URS compliance. Finally, the qualification…

Figure 2: Point-of-use testing of singe-use bags

Pressure Decay Method for Postinstallation Single-Use Bioreactor Bag Testing

Single-use technology is well accepted today, and manufacturers’ quality assurance programs ensure leak-free single-use bags upon delivery. But what about risks involved with installation and other handling errors? Operator training and implementation of suitable standard operating procedures (SOPs) are mandatory, but should they be the only ways to mitigate the risk of failures? In addition, more companies are advocating the use of ballroom concepts (1) for the manufacture of biopharmaceutical drug substances and drug products. However, how do you prove…

Cell Therapy Bioprocessing Technologies and Indicators of Technological Convergence

The cell therapy industry is undergoing a natural evolution from scientific curiosity into a commercially and clinically attractive opportunity (1). This evolution is by no means complete, and growing evidence suggests that its progression is driving significant developments in cell therapy bioprocessing — notably, convergence. Table 1:&#8 194; () Progressively, bioprocessing technologies primarily used in production of noncell-based products are being evaluated for cell therapy bioprocessing applications (2). Consequently, this process of convergence is leading to an increasing proportion of…

Large-Scale, Insect-Cell–Based Vaccine Development

    Vaccines are among biotechnological products characterized by continuous growth over the past decade. According to a 2011 report, the global vaccine market is expected to reach US$34 billion in sales by 2013 (1). Much development can be ascribed to vaccine treatments for cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases (which have risen significantly) as well as the growing worldwide population and emergence of new pandemics. Although to date the main health impact of vaccines is still in disease prevention, the…