W-Designtool - W-Design tool for "Next-Generation Bioreactors" with cross-flow filtration

Project: Research project

Project Details


In the (bio-) pharmaceutical industry, bioreactors are used to produce modern biomoleculecular drugs (so-called biologics), for example monoclonal antibodies for cancer therapy or, in the current case, for the therapy of SARS-CoV-2.
Some of these biomolecules are produced in modern perfusion reactors, which have the advantage of a higher cell density and thus a higher yield compared to classical stirred bioreaction systems. The cells that are still needed in the reactor during production must therefore be separated from the liquid. This separation of cells and liquid is made possible by a cross-flow filtration system (Tangential Flow Filtration TFF). This process causes a previously unexplained death of the cells, which massively reduces the productivity of the cell system, especially considering that one batch can represent several hundred thousand Euros (and more) in value.
A specially developed simulation program (TFF-SIM) will now be used to find the cause, optimize the operating parameters and test other process variants. This program can now be used to investigate the shear forces occurring during the filtering process, as these can be responsible for cell death (via shear-induced apoptosis). By adjusting the operating parameters or the geometry of the filter, as well as the flow guidance at the inlet and outlet, an optimized process concept can then be developed on the computer. The prototype of this simulation program can then be extended for further applications or be upgraded for industrial use with a user interface and simplified evaluation software.
Effective start/end date1/07/2031/08/21