For many bioprocessing professionals the proliferation of process monitoring and control solutions presents an immense opportunity to improve their knowledge of their mammalian cell cultivation or microbial fermentation processes.
Comprehensive information management systems (CIMS) are helping them manage this data, providing much needed efficiency boosts as scientists generate increasingly large datasets and companies implement quality by design as well as process analytic control standards.
The advantages of CIMS lie in their ability to seamlessly integrate information among a variety of analytic instruments and bioreactor control software to enhance and streamline bioprocessing workflow, according to scientists at Lonza Biologics and Gevo.
Both Lonza, a supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients, and Gevo, which provides renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels, needed real-time data to assess bioreactor run quality and to make control decisions. They also wanted to streamline and automate the information flow to eliminate as much manual data entry as possible.
“We wanted three main things: 24/7 information management during the whole fermentation process, better understanding and control of our processes, and better leverage of our process analytical technology,” explains Peng Jiao, Ph.D., senior project leader for Lonza.
Gevo had similar goals. According to James Glenn, Ph.D., fermentation development specialist, “We needed better data management. Specifically, we wanted the fermentation off-gas data time-synchronized with our bioreactor operating parameters for post-run analysis, and we wanted this data available in a single file. We also wanted to increase throughput.”
Automatic data aggregation was another objective. “CIMS eliminate copying and pasting mass spec raw data into Excel spreadsheets for calculations of oxygen transfer rate, carbon transfer rate, total volume of oxygen, and total volume of carbon. Previously, this data was copied for individual vessels and synchronized with fermentation time. This was labor-intensive and usually done after the fermentation was complete,” Dr. Glenn adds.
When Lonza considered adopting a CIMS approach, it had three key concerns: “We were looking for easy integration with other systems, ease of use, and good technology support,” Dr. Jiao notes.
“There can be problems when implementing data communication across products from multiple vendors,” Dr. Glenn explains, so customer support was very important. “Reliability and price were other important factors.”