Polymer fibers – strong potential for high productivity downstream processing
Increasing demands for biopharmaceuticals as well as cost constraints and higher titers require high throughput and productivity of downstream processing. High throughput with conventional adsorbents is, however, limited: Conventional packed beds are filled with spherical porous adsorbent particles. Due to the structure of these particles, adsorption is limited by diffusion. Additionally, they have high packing densities and high pressure drops. Therefore, high throughput at high flow rates is not feasible.
Polymeric fibers can serve as support for chromatography
Fibers show high capacities and low pressure drops at high flow rates. Furthermore, they have low manufacturing costs and their surface can be modified to generate adsorber systems with different modalities. To allow a better understanding of the processes using fiber-based adsorbents, a mechanistic model has been developed using ChromX.
Processes with polymer fibers as adsorbents can now be modeled
A transport-dispersive model in combination with a steric mass action isotherm was utilized. The model had to be calibrated from a few column experiments and was successfully applied to simulate tracer, linear gradient elution as well as breakthrough experiments. In this way, all relevant transport and binding mechanisms could be discerned, which allowed a better understanding of the process.