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How prepacked chromatography columns help you scale up biomanufacturing faster
May 25, 2023 / The Bio-Works Team
Chromatography is a popular purification technique used in biomanufacturing to separate and isolate your target biomolecule from the presence of impurities. To scale up the biomanufacturing process faster, prepacked chromatography columns are becoming an increasingly popular solution. As the demand for diverse and innovative medicines increases, time to market and flexibility in manufacturing becomes even more important, then it's beneficial to explore how prepacked columns can be an effective and efficient alternative compared to conventional columns.
What are prepacked chromatography columns?
Prepacked columns come pre-filled with any chromatography resin you need. They're available in a variety of diameters and flexible bed height to ease your process scale-up.
Prepacked columns are ready-to-use, saving you time in resin preparation, column packing, and cleaning. Eliminating the laborious process of validating and packing columns is a huge time- and cost-saver. By using prepacked columns, you are able to streamline your workflow to achieve consistent, reproducible results from screening to large-scale production.
What are the advantages of using prepacked chromatography columns?
Prepacked chromatography columns offer numerous advantages when it comes to purification processes. They are highly scalable and can increase throughput and productivity in biomanufacturing. One of the primary purposes is to save time in the lab by eliminating the need for manual column packing, which can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. Since the goal of packing resin into a column is to produce a packed bed that meets an acceptance specification and is reliable over a long period, prepacked columns reduce the risk of inconsistencies between batches and ensure that the same reproductive results are achieved each run.
No matter what your application is, prepacked columns can be designed to fit the specific experimental setup and required standards you are looking for. Prepacked columns are a great alternative compared to reusable columns, and the additional benefits include the following:
- Being quick and easy to set up with your chromatography system
- Increasing process flexibility during the screening and large-scale production phases
- Reducing the need for specialized equipment and additional storage space
- Providing more time for continuous test runs and less downtime
- Reducing labor time related to column packing and cleaning
All in all, using prepacked chromatography columns can significantly enhance efficiency and productivity by receiving expertly packed, fully validated, and documented columns from leading suppliers. These standardized and validated column packing procedures from leading suppliers have been shown to reduce the risk of costly errors during downstream bioprocessing.
From screening at the lab bench to large-scale production, prepacked columns are an effective solution to help you obtain consistent, reproducible results with the processing flexibility your facility may need.
What are the disadvantages of using prepacked chromatography columns?
Prepacked chromatography columns offer convenience and time-saving measures, but they do come with downsides. One of the main disadvantages of using prepacked columns is the availability of limited column diameters based on the specific sizes from the supplier. Additionally, prepacked columns have a higher cost and provide less control over the process compared to facilities that pack their own chromatography columns. Other disadvantages include more waste than reusable columns because the entire column must be disposed of when the resin is depleted, and they have a shorter shelf-life that can lead to the wastage of resources.
Despite these disadvantages, prepacked chromatography columns remain a cost-effective solution for many pharmaceutical and biotechnology research companies. It's also important for you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before using prepacked columns, keeping in mind the specific needs of their application.
Source: Bio-Works - An employee is packing a column at a Bio-Works' lab.
What are the factors that you should consider when choosing prepacked chromatography columns?
When it comes to choosing prepacked chromatography columns, there are several factors that you should carefully consider to ensure that you end up with the right column for your needs. First and foremost, you need to consider the type of sample you will be running, as different columns are optimized for different types of molecules that you will be looking to separate.
Additionally, it's important to ensure that the column size and flow rate are optimized for your process, as this can affect the efficiency and yield of the purification.
Almost any resin type can be packed into any column, such as affinity, ion exchange, and hydrophobic interaction resins, and they are widely available on the market. Each of these types has its own unique advantages and can be used depending on the properties of the molecule being purified.
Lastly, it would be best to consider the column's compatibility with your chromatography system and the availability of technical support from the supplier in case you need assistance. By considering these factors, making an informed decision on the right prepacked chromatography column for your specific needs will lead to accurate and reproducible results.
How the growing demand is making prepacked chromatography columns easily accessible
The global prepacked chromatography columns market was valued at 269 million USD in 2021 and is expected to grow by 8.10% with a revenue of 542 million USD by 2023, per Growth Plus Reports. The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the increase of demand for prepacked chromatography columns to aid in the increased production of vaccine manufacturing and different drug development processes.
The international focus of pharmaceutical companies and bio-manufacturers to be more efficient while delivering effective products will continue to fuel the growth of prepacked chromatography columns. Key players, such as Cytivia, Tosoh, and Bio-Works, operating in the prepacked chromatography market, are launching new and advanced chromatography columns to keep up with the demand.
The continued push for process development and technological advancements will increase the volumes of prepacked columns being produced by manufacturers. This will lead to affordable protein purification options being out on the market for researchers worldwide to easily find and use.
In conclusion, prepacked chromatography columns can play a vital role in helping your researchers achieve high levels of purity and throughput throughout the biomanufacturing process. From screening to large-scale production, prepacked columns are an effective solution to help you obtain consistent, reproducible results with the processing flexibility your facility may need.
By providing increased efficiency, reduced time, and improved productivity, using prepacked chromatography columns should be a significant consideration for your company. As the demand for biological products continues to grow and evolve, the demand for prepacked chromatography columns will only become more prevalent - making them an essential tool for scaling up biomanufacturing processes.