A continuous capture process is the next big challenge for modern bioproduction. Multi-column chromatography operates in continuous mode, balancing downstream productivity with upstream titers.
While perfusion, or upstream continuous bioprocessing, has been in use since the 1980s, batch chromatography is still the dominant practice in downstream affinity capture. To integrate with upstream processes already in continuous mode and to take advantage of the benefits of continuous processing, many companies are starting to use multi-column chromatography systems.
In multi-column chromatography, a complex mixture is loaded into the system and goes through a series of washing, elution, regeneration, and equilibration steps. These procedures repeat in subsequent, parallel columns. The size of the continuous chromatography column is greatly reduced, but with the same or better capacity and volumetric productivity as a typical batch column.
Benefits of multi-column chromatography include:
- Continuous processing from fermentation to purification
- Better facility utilization, no downtime
- Decrease in consumption of resin, buffers and solvents
- Significantly reduced facility footprint by reducing equipment size
- Potential operational savings if can introduce more automation