- Simulations based on an uncalibrated mechanistic model were used to construct an artificial neural network model.
- The calibrated artificial neural network model was employed to predict mass transfer and adsorption isotherm parameters for three proteins.
- The predicted parameter sets were used to predict gradient elution runs, which were validated in the laboratory.
- This approach could support calibration purposes in mechanistic modeling in general.
Mechanistic modeling has been repeatedly successfully applied in process development and control of protein chromatography. For each combination of adsorbate and adsorbent, the mechanistic models have to be calibrated. Some of the model parameters, such as system characteristics, can be determined reliably by applying well-established experimental methods, whereas others cannot be measured directly. In common practice of protein chromatography modeling, these parameters are identified by applying time-consuming methods such as frontal analysis combined with gradient experiments, curve-fitting, or combined Yamamoto approach. For new components in the chromatographic system, these traditional calibration approaches require to be conducted repeatedly.
In the presented work, a novel method for the calibration of mechanistic models based on artificial neural network (ANN) modeling was applied. An in silico screening of possible model parameter combinations was performed to generate learning material for the ANN model. Once the ANN model was trained to recognize chromatograms and to respond with the corresponding model parameter set, it was used to calibrate the mechanistic model from measured chromatograms. The ANN model’s capability of parameter estimation was tested by predicting gradient elution chromatograms. The time-consuming model parameter estimation process itself could be reduced down to milliseconds. The functionality of the method was successfully demonstrated in a study with the calibration of the transport-dispersive model (TDM) and the stoichiometric displacement model (SDM) for a protein mixture.