Industry News: Networking for progress in bio-process analytics

The Bio-PAT network for SMEs and research institutions aims to establish cooperation to accelerate bio-processes technology development

18 Dec 2019

Dr.-Ing. Anika Bockisch and CEO Prof. Dr. Peter Neubauer
Managing Director Dr.-Ing. Anika Bockisch and CEO Prof. Dr. Peter Neubauer from the Bio-PAT e.V. cooperation network had invited to the workshop.© KNAUER

What do beer, many vaccines and treated wastewater have in common? Biotechnological processes are involved in the production of all these substances and must be monitored and controlled so that they can work optimally. For this purpose, it is necessary to analyze the processes very precisely and preferably gapless and in real-time. It is the goal of the Bio-PAT network to further develop the necessary process analytical technologies (PAT) specifically for bioprocesses.

Almost 50 users and interested parties accepted the invitation of the Berlin-based Bio-PAT cooperation network to a workshop meeting entitled "Current developments in PAT and soft sensor technologies" on December 4, 2019, at the premises of KNAUER Wissenschaftliche Geräte GmbH

The event started with an introduction to the Bio-PAT network and KNAUER, followed by a guided tour of the premises, during which the workshop participants were able to get an impression of the high-precision production of parts, the modern assembly of equipment and the laboratory. Some visitors found it very remarkable that a medium-sized company like KNAUER has such a high vertical range of manufacturers – the laboratory measuring instruments are almost completely manufactured in Berlin.

After the tour, members of the network gave a series of lectures on the measurement technology areas of chromatography systems, sensors for gas analysis, ion-selective electrodes, in-situ optical systems such as image analysis of microscopic data and photon density wave spectroscopy and their significance for process analysis. In addition, the lecture series was both introduced and concluded by contributions on chemometrics, interpretation, and utilization of complex analysis data.

"Liquid chromatography is our passion and core competence. Because chromatography plays an important role in process analysis, we are of course also a member of the network. We see this as an opportunity to exchange ideas with the many users and to contribute our expertise," said Alexandra Knauer, Managing Director of KNAUER.

One topic that was discussed in several contributions was the so-called soft sensor technology. This is a kind of virtual sensor that is difficult or impossible to access directly. With the help of more easily determinable or even measurable variables, which are correlated via models with difficult-to-access variables, the measured value can be indirectly determined using an algorithm. Bioprocesses are often complex and can, therefore, benefit from intelligently combined sensors. 

The lectures provided the framework for the lively discussions and the intensive exchange of ideas among the participants lasting into the evening.

"Our association would like to bring users, researchers, and technology providers in the field of bioprocess analytics into the conversation. This has been a wonderful success today - I believe that this day is very helpful for the initiation of new cooperation. I am very satisfied," said network manager and managing director of Bio-PAT e.V. Dr.-Ing. Anika Bockisch after the event.

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