Optimal operation of parallel mini-bioreactors in bioprocess development using multi-stage MPC

Niels Krausch, Kim Jong Woo, Sergio Lucia, Sebastian Groß, Tilman Barz, Peter Neubauer, Mariano Nicolas Cruz Bournazou

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Bioprocess development is commonly characterized by long development times, especially in the early screening phase. After promising candidates have been pre-selected in screening campaigns, an optimal operating strategy has to be found and verified under conditions similar to production. In view of the large number of strains and the process conditions to be tested, high-throughput cultivation systems provide an essential tool to sample the large design space in short time. Furthermore, cultivating cells with pulse-based feeding and thus exposing them to oscillating feast and famine phases has shown to be a powerful approach to study microorganisms closer to industrial bioreactor conditions. We have recently presented a comprehensive platform, consisting of two liquid handling stations coupled with a model-based experimental design and operation framework to increase the efficiency in High Throughput bioprocess development. Using calibrated macro-kinetic growth models, the platform has been successfully used for the development of scale-down fed-batch cultivations in parallel mini-bioreactor systems. However, it has also been shown that parametric uncertainties in the models can significantly affect the prediction accuracy and thus the reliability of optimized cultivation strategies. To tackle this issue, we implemented a multi-stage Model Predictive Control (MPC) strategy to fulfill the experimental objectives under tight constraints despite the uncertainty in the parameters and the measurements. Dealing with uncertainties in the parameters is of major importance, since constraint violation would easily occur otherwise, which in turn could have adverse effects on the quality of the heterologous protein produced. Using the feedback information gained through the evolution along the tree, the control approach is significantly more robust than standard MPC approaches without being overly conservative. We show in this study that the application of multi-stage MPC can increase the number of successful experiments, by applying this methodology to a mini-bioreactor cultivation operated in parallel.
Titel32nd European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering
Redakteure/-innenLudovic Montastruc, Stephane Negny
Herausgeber (Verlag)Elsevier
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2022

Research Field

  • Efficiency in Industrial Processes and Systems


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