MilliporeSigma participates in an exclusive Q&A on their 2016 INTERPHEX Exhibitor Award: Efficiency Champion.
On April 26, 2016, the first day of INTERPHEX, six winners were announced for the competitive INTERPHEX Exhibitor Awards. The six categories and the corresponding companies who won the awards are as follows:
- Best in Show: GE Healthcare Life Sciences
- Best New Product/Service: Nemera
- Editor’s Choice: Catalent Pharma Solutions
- Best Technological Innovation: Videojet Technologies
Efficiency Champion [NEW]: MilliporeSigma
- Biotech Innovation Award [NEW]: Bausch + Stroebel
Janice Lloyd Simler, Global Product Manager for Single-Use Upstream Systems at MilliporeSigma, participated in an exclusive Q&A with Pharmaceutical Processing to talk about the company’s INTERPHEX Exhibitor Award, the Efficiency Champion award. The edited responses are below.
Q: How long has the Mobius® 1000 L Single-Use Bioreactor been commercially available?
Lloyd Simler: The Mobius® 1000 L Single-Use Bioreactor was launched at INTERPHEX this year.
Q: What sparked the idea behind the Mobius® Single-Use Bioreactors? Any interesting discoveries along with way?
Lloyd Simler: The idea for the Mobius® 1000 L Single-Use Bioreactors was to complete the Mobius® Single-Use Bioreactor platform and to ensure that the ease-of-use features and operational flexibility present on the Mobius® 50 and 200 L Bioreactors were maintained in the design of the Mobius® 1000 L Bioreactor.
Q: How does the design of the Mobius® Single-Use Bioreactor differ from your other bioreactors? How does it compare to competitors?
Lloyd Simler: Like the Mobius® 50 and 200 L Bioreactors, the Mobius® 1000 L Bioreactor was designed with the operator in mind and has many ergonomic features. Unlike the smaller Mobius® bioreactors, the Mobius® 1000 L Bioreactor has the industry’s first pull-out drawer for easy installation and removal of the Flexware® assembly. The Flexware® assembly contains a patent pending internal baffle and uses our EZ-fold technology. These features enable self-deployment of the Flexware® assembly and, unlike the competition, no additional equipment is needed to install and inflate the Flexware® assembly. Our Common Control Platform® (CCP®) software was designed to be intuitive, which reduces the learning curve for operators. The Mobius® 1000 L Bioreactor’s many ergonomic features separate it from the competition.
Q: Were there any challenges you faced in the design and creation of the Mobius® Single-Use Bioreactor?
Lloyd Simler: One of the challenges faced during the development of the Mobius® 1000 L Single-Use Bioreactor was finding a way to provide efficient mixing at a large scale. We wanted to use a bottom-mounted impeller to give our customers a large operating window for cell seeding, growth, and harvest strategies. The challenge with this design was to ensure that the bioreactor would be well mixed at large scale. To overcome this challenge, we developed the patent pending internal baffle, which provides fast and homogeneous mixing. It deploys with the Flexware® assembly and requires no operator intervention.
Q: What are some of the steps you’ve taken to address geometric similarity between bioreactors in the Mobius® Single-Use Bioreactor? (I.e., maintaining aspect ratios, impeller sizing ratios, impeller spacing ratios and baffle size and location.)
Lloyd Simler: The Mobius® 50 – 2000 L Bioreactors were designed to be a scalable platform. As such, multiple parameters such as aspect ratio, ratio of impeller size to vessel diameter, the location of the impeller and spargers are maintained throughout the platform. Additionally, all the Mobius® bioreactors contain an internal baffle and utilize Mobius® SensorReady technology for process monitor and control.
Q: How do you hope to change the market with the Mobius® Single-Use Bioreactor?
Lloyd Simler: We hope to change the market by enabling customers to spend less time on single-use bioreactor set-up and more time focusing on their process. This ability to multi-task will help our customers be more efficient in their work.
Q: In your opinion, what are one of the key market needs that the Mobius® Single-Use Bioreactor addresses?
Lloyd Simler: In a global manufacturing environment, one of the key market needs for single-use bioreactors is to be scalable for efficient tech transfer. Not only is the Mobius® Single-Use Bioreactor platform scalable, it is also easy to use, which reduces operator training.
Q: In general, what are some of the operational best practices for a bioreactor?
Lloyd Simler: Some operational best practices for a single-use bioreactor include properly training operators on how to handle single-use assemblies and proper sampling techniques.
Q: What would you say is one of the greatest advantages of single-use bioreactors?
Lloyd Simler: I would say the greatest advantage of a single-use bioreactor is the time-savings it provides to customers. One example of this time-savings can be found in the down time between runs. Single-use bioreactors do not need a clean-in-place or steam-in-place cycle after each cell culture run. Once the cell culture run is finished, the single-use assembly can be removed, the hardware cleaned and then a new assembly installed. This whole process can be accomplished in one shift compared to the days required to clean, prepare, and sterilize a stainless steel vessel.
Q: What is one of the greatest challenges associated with the use of single-use bioreactors?
Lloyd Simler: Handling single-use assemblies larger than 1000 L is one of the biggest challenges in the single-use bioreactor market. As the size of the bioreactor increases, the Flexware° assembly itself and the amount of tubing also increase in size. The drawer on the Mobius® 1000 L and 2000 L bioreactors make the installation of these large Flexware® assemblies easy. Once the Flexware° assembly is installed, the operator must also contend with several feet of tubing. MilliporeSigma has a tubing management system that runs along the top and side of the bioreactor. This serves to contain and organize the tubing.
Q: Where do you see the most potential growth for future innovations in single-use bioreactors?
Lloyd Simler: Single-use bioreactors enable customers to be more efficient with their time by reducing the down time between cell culture runs. I see the most potential growth for future innovations in single-use bioreactors being technologies that enable process compression, continuous processing, and process integration, which will continue to drive greater productivity and process efficiency.
Q: What was your reaction when you heard that your company had won the award?
Lloyd Simler: I was very excited and honored that the Mobius® 1000 L bioreactor from MilliporeSigma was chosen for this award.
Q: Beyond the INTERPHEX Exhibitor Awards, what were some of your favorite memories at INTERPHEX 2016?
Lloyd Simler: Some of my favorite memories of INTERPHEX include having the opportunity to meet so many people and discuss their current and future needs.