This study addressed the problem of maximizing cell mass and monoclonal antibody production from a fed-batch hybridoma cell culture. We hypothesized that inaccuracies in the process model limited the mathematical optimization. On the basis of shaker flask data, we established a simple phenomenological model with cell mass and lactate production as the controlled variables. We then formulated an optimal control algorithm, which calculated the process–model mismatch at each sampling time, updated the model parameters, and re-optimized the substrate concentrations dynamically throughout the time course of the batch. Manipulated variables were feed rates of glucose and glutamine. Dynamic parameter adjustment was done using a fuzzy logic technique, while a heuristic random optimizer (HRO) optimized the feed rates. The parameters selected for updating were specific growth rate and the yield coefficient of lactate from glucose. These were chosen by a sensitivity analysis. The cell mass produced using dynamic optimization was compared to the cell mass produced for an unoptimized case, and for a one-time optimization at the beginning of the batch. Substantial improvements in reactor productivity resulted from dynamic re-optimization and parameter adjustment. We demonstrated first that a single offline optimization of substrate concentration at the start of the batch significantly increased the yield of cell mass by 27% over an unoptimized fermentation. Periodic optimization online increased yield of cell mass per batch by 44% over the single offline optimization. Concomitantly, the yield of monoclonal antibody increased by 31% over the off-line optimization case. For batch and fed-batch processes, this appears to be a suitable arrangement to account for inaccuracies in process models. This suggests that implementation of advanced yet inexpensive techniques can improve performance of fed-batch reactors employed in hybridoma cell culture. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Biotechnol Bioeng 67: 197–205, 2000.
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