High-throughput process development of chromatography steps: Advantages and limitations of different formats used



In the past, development of a chromatographic separation method has been accomplished by performing a series of experiments using either manual or automated chromatography systems. The screening of a vast experimental space became very expensive because all experiments had to be performed in a serial manner, and the chromatography systems used were designed for relatively large columns and, therefore, the experiments required large sample volumes. To address these issues, high-throughput miniaturized methods employing different operating principles and/or formats have been introduced. Herein, a technical review of the most common high-throughput formats used for the development of chromatographic purification steps is presented. The formats considered include minicolumns, prefilled pipette tips, and microtiter filter plates prefilled with chromatography resins. Advantages and limitations of each format are discussed through the prism of chromatographic theory, engineering principles, and known mass-transfer mechanisms. A roadmap for applicability of the different formats for process development purposes and implementation of a Quality by Design initiative for designing/optimization of chromatography steps is also discussed.