Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology

, Volume 44, Issue 12, pp 1589–1603 | Cite as

Use of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRs) in the biopharmaceutical industry for real-time determination of critical process parameters and integration of advanced feedback control strategies using MIDUS control

  • Lucas Vann
  • John Sheppard
Fermentation, Cell Culture and Bioengineering - Original Paper


Control of biopharmaceutical processes is critical to achieve consistent product quality. The most challenging unit operation to control is cell growth in bioreactors due to the exquisitely sensitive and complex nature of the cells that are converting raw materials into new cells and products. Current monitoring capabilities are increasing, however, the main challenge is now becoming the ability to use the data generated in an effective manner. There are a number of contributors to this challenge including integration of different monitoring systems as well as the functionality to perform data analytics in real-time to generate process knowledge and understanding. In addition, there is a lack of ability to easily generate strategies and close the loop to feedback into the process for advanced process control (APC). The current research aims to demonstrate the use of advanced monitoring tools along with data analytics to generate process understanding in an Escherichia coli fermentation process. NIR spectroscopy was used to measure glucose and critical amino acids in real-time to help in determining the root cause of failures associated with different lots of yeast extract. First, scale-down of the process was required to execute a simple design of experiment, followed by scale-up to build NIR models as well as soft sensors for advanced process control. In addition, the research demonstrates the potential for a novel platform technology that enables manufacturers to consistently achieve “goldenbatch” performance through monitoring, integration, data analytics, understanding, strategy design and control (MIDUS control). MIDUS control was employed to increase batch-to-batch consistency in final product titers, decrease the coefficient of variability from 8.49 to 1.16%, predict possible exhaust filter failures and close the loop to prevent their occurrence and avoid lost batches.


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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