Downstream process development is a major area of importance within the field of bioengineering. During the design of such a downstream process, important decisions have to be made regarding the type of unit operations as well as their sequence and their operating conditions. Current computational approaches addressing these issues either show a high level of simplification or struggle with computational speed. Therefore, this article presents a new approach that combines detailed mechanistic models and speed-enhancing artificial neural networks. This approach was able to simultaneously optimize a process with three different chromatographic columns toward yield with a minimum purity of 99.9%. The addition of artificial neural networks greatly accelerated this optimization. Due to high computational speed, the approach is easily extendable to include more unit operations. Therefore, it can be of great help in the acceleration of downstream process development.
- downstream processing
- model-based process development approach
- purification process synthesis