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Model Predictive Control: A Game-Changer in Bioproduction for Enhanced Efficiency and Quality

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In the realm of continuous manufacturing, Model Predictive Control (MPC) emerges as a crucial element, according to insights from recent research published in Bioprocess Control. This advanced process control method demonstrates its prowess in enhancing efficacy within bioproduction, offering a means to optimize operations and ensure consistent product yields. As biological systems grow increasingly complex, coupled with rising demands for precision in drug development and manufacturing, the role of advanced control methods becomes paramount in achieving consistent high-quality outputs.

Model Predictive Control, a methodology applied in various industrial sectors since the 1970s, encounters unique challenges when integrated into bioproduction. Biological systems, characterized by high sensitivity to process conditions like temperature, pH, and substrate concentrations, pose hurdles. Additionally, the need for advanced sensors capable of measuring critical quality attributes (CQAs) further complicates the application of Model Predictive Control in this context.

Despite historical limitations, Model Predictive Control proves to be a game-changer in continuous biomanufacturing, particularly in applications such as continuous upstream and downstream bioprocessing. The paper emphasizes MPC’s potential to significantly enhance effectiveness in these areas. Crucially, MPC serves as a promising solution to ensure the final product aligns with the required specifications, providing a framework for identifying optimal operating conditions while adhering to constraints.

Model Predictive Control

Integrating Model Predictive Control into Bioproduction and Overcoming Sensitivity and Sensor Limitations

The authors of the study highlight several benefits of MPC in bioproduction:

  1. Trajectory tracking and obstacle avoidance capabilities optimize cell growth in bioreactors, mitigating contamination risks.
  2. Downstream processing, including purification and separation, can be optimized while maintaining product quality within process constraints.
  3. Integration of MPC in autonomous systems facilitates control and optimization of complex bioprocesses, where high levels of automation and decision-making under constraints are necessary.

Within the context of Integrated Continuous Bioprocessing (ICB), MPC emerges as a beacon of advanced control. As the biopharma sector increasingly adopts continuous manufacturing approaches like ICB, MPC stands out as a vital tool. The authors envision a future where MPC seamlessly integrates with artificial intelligence (AI) and hybrid modeling, ushering in unparalleled control and predictability in biomanufacturing.

The researchers anticipate that the global shift towards sustainable processes will drive increased utilization of MPC in bioprocess units. This is seen as a pivotal development, enabling the handling of sluggish systems with inaccurate forecasting models. Based on their observations, a significant growth in the number of MPC applications is expected, driven by both existing disciplines and emerging trends. The paper concludes with an optimistic outlook on the transformative impact of MPC, envisioning a landscape where biomanufacturing achieves unprecedented heights of control and predictability.


Resource: European Pharmaceutical Review, January 12, 2024

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