Simulation based development of a 3D printed micro-SMB device
Process Analytical Technology (PAT) is a current research focus in biopharmaceutical process engineering. Most applications reported so far use in-line spectroscopic measurements and on-line HPLC methods. Other established methods of off-line analytics, such as mass spectroscopy, are hardly used for PAT applications due to the required sample preparation and the associated complexity. Methods such as Simulated Moving Bed (SMB) chromatography allow continuous sample preparation, but the required instruments are very expensive, the handling is complex and the commercially available devices are not suitable for analytical purposes due to the high dead volumes. The aim of this project is to manufacture a micro-SMB device using 3D printing technologies, which can be used for analytical purposes due to its compact design and low internaL dead volume. In order to ensure an easy handling of the system, not only the hardware, but also a control software with intuitive user interface has to be developed. The implementation takes place in several steps: First, a proof of concept study is made to show that it’s in principle possible to carry out SMB processes in micro to milliliter range. Suitable operating parameters are to be determined by means of process simulation. In further steps, suitable 3D printable chromatography materials will be developed and integrated into the production process oft he SMB device using multi-material printing. Finally, the system will be coupled with mass spectroscopic measurements as an application example.
Figur 1: CAD model of a possible implementation Figur 2: Scheme of the princible of of a micro-SMB device an SMB
Bachelor and Master theses can be assigned at any time. The main topics are 3D printing (valves, pumps and microfluidic systems), process simulation (SMB processes) and the integration of chromatography columns into printed systems. If you are interested please contact me by e-mail, then we can discuss the topics in more detail.