Embedding novel sensor technologies into downstream processing for manufacture of biopharmaceuticals
University of Manchester
Prof. Peter Gardner, Prof. Alan Dickson, Dr. Alex Henderson
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies
Following the completion of my A-levels in 2015 I moved from Northern Ireland to study at the University of Manchester. In June of 2019 I graduated with an integrated master's (MEng) degree in Chemical Engineering. For my master's research project, I worked in the Gardner group at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB). My project investigated the effects of hypoxia and non-serum starvation on fatty-acid specific uptake in advanced prostate cancer cells using FTIR spectroscopy. My research project gave me exposure to the analytical vibrational techniques of FTIR and Raman spectroscopy; and allowed me to develop a working knowledge of chemometrics. Most importantly, my project ignited my interest in the use of biotechnology to aid understanding and treatment of disease.
I am now undertaking a PhD in the Gardner lab in collaboration with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDBK) which aims to develop sensor technologies for use in biopharmaceutical downstream processing. The proposed sensor technology will allow non-invasive, in-time analysis of product titre and quality. Downstream processing is a time-consuming stage in biopharmaceutical production which amounts to roughly 60-70% of manufacturing cost. The ability to rapidly assess product quality will allow time savings and in effect a reduced final product cost. It is my hope that this project, through lowering the cost of biopharmaceutical medicines, will aid in making them more available to those who need them.