In response to increasing demand for single-use bioprocessing products, Thermo Fisher Scientific invested $20 million to build a new BioCenter and expand its existing media and BPC manufacturing facilities in Logan and Cramlington, U.K. BPC can be used for a wide variety of applications, including mixing, storage, and transportation of cell culture media, culturing cells in single-use bioreactors, and harvesting cell culture products.
The BioCenter manufactures simple BPCs as well as complex bioprocessing systems custom designed specifically for clients. The Single-Use Bioreactor and Single-Use Mixer were introduced in 2006 and have reportedly been adopted by more than 80% of the top biopharmaceutical companies.
The first single-use products were media transport bags, which expanded over the years into today’s integrated single-use systems with built-in functionality. For example, single-use bioreactors “have full capabilities like stainless steel bioreactors. You can control temperature, mixing, sparging, and venting,” says Justin Hutchinson, associate director of single-use products at Thermo Scientific Cell Culture and BioProcessing.
The Single-Use Bioreactor uses a BPC placed inside a stainless steel support with attached control systems. “How extravagant the control system becomes depends on what a customer wants to use it for and the functionality added to the BPC,” says Hutchinson. The BPC is replaced after each batch or run, while the stainless steel bioreactor support is reused.
A dry-powder media production facility was the company’s first entry into providing dry powdered media for cell culture applications. A second dedicated animal-free, state-of-the-art micronization pin mill facility opened in 2004. It produces dry powder media for bioproduction clients in batches up to 6,000 kg.
This high-throughput manufacturing system delivers consistent quality from small-scale validation batches to full production lots The pin mill operation blends all the components using continuous micronization and particle size reduction.
Additionally, a computerized, bar-coded weight verification system confirms the accuracy of each formulation. “Even in 6,000 kilogram batches, when you take 10 grams from the batch for sampling, it’s uniform no matter where you collect the sample,” says Hutchinson.