Achieving Scalability and Flexibility
Over the years, single use technologies have been expanding in different applications, meaning that there are now a multitude of single use alternatives for different elements of bioprocessing. Single-use systems have also increased in scale, but there are still some technical limits for their scalability today.
We wanted to
discover why disposable and single use solutions are viewed as less scalable than
stainless steel. Single use technologies haven’t yet been scaled up to the same
level as stainless steel for various applications. When carrying out
biomanufacturing on a very large scale, such as 10,000 litre containers, the
equivalent in single-use doesn’t yet exist. “Part of the reason why there is
still some resistance to single-use systems is that they don’t scale following similar
scalability parameters to those that the majority of chemical use” explains Farnsworth.
However, this resistance is likely to decrease as new scientists tend to be more comfortable when interacting with disposables solutions given that they have worked with them throughout their training.
“Many universities already have disposables and single-use options as part of their laboratory experiments, and therefore newly qualified scientists are going to have a better understanding of how to scale up processes and have less concern over whether or not it calculates properly to scale up” says Farnsworth.
The pharmaceutical biomanufacturing industry is looking to maximise yield, use existing assets more flexibly, and reduce variability, all while increasing process efficiency and scalability. Singleuse technologies have enabled manufacturing professional to achieve many of these outcomes, offering benefits of flexibility and minimal cleaning. Single use processing can reduce cycle times and lower investment needs, making the entire operation more efficient, but flexibility and scalability must be understood on an operational and strategic level in order to maximize capacity, this includes leveraging vendor support where possible.