Continuous Bioprocessing and Perfusion: Wider Adoption Coming as Bioprocessing Matures

by Eric S. Langer and Ronald A. Rader
Volume 13, Issue 1 (Spring 2014)

Batch processing has long been the predominant bioprocessing paradigm, both up- and downstream. Bioprocessing fluids are processed incrementally, piped as a bolus or transferred via vessels from one process and piece of equipment to the next. This continues to work well, including a number of technological advances resulting in improvements that continue to make bioprocessing more efficient. Upstream and overall process yields are essentially doubling about every five years, with this largely driven by improved cell lines, expression systems and genetic engineering, culture media, and equipment. Among the technologies now gaining increasing adoption and market share for biopharmaceutical manufacture is continuous (bio) processing, with perfusion currently the leading technology, in terms of adoption. The use of incremental, one-step-at-a-time, classic batch processing in biopharmaceutical manufacture is different than most other major products manufacturing and high-tech industries, where processing is generally more continuous. In this context, the move toward more continuous processing in manufacturing is a common characteristic of industries starting to reach maturity. Continuous processing is exemplified by assembly lines, and petroleum refining with processing involving a rather continuous flow of the material being manufactured from one unit operation to the next. Continuous processing generally follows and eventually replaces incremental manufacturing...

Langer ES, Rader RA. Continuous Bioprocessing and Perfusion: Wider Adoption Coming as Bioprocessing Matures. BioProcess J, 2014; 13(1): 43-49.

Posted online April 23, 2014.