• chromatography;
  • fouling;
  • windows of operation;
  • antibody fragment;
  • general rate model


The high resolution afforded by packed bed chromatography makes it an indispensable operation in the downstream processing of therapeutic molecules. Packed bed performance is however inherently susceptible to changes in feed stream characteristics and fouling processes. The impact of fouling is seldom considered during the early stages of bioprocess development which is concerned with the selection of purification conditions. Instead these are performed with rigorously clarified feeds. Under such conditions, chromatography is effectively treated as an isolated step, independent from its preceding unit operations. In this study, we demonstrate how windows of operation could be used to visualize the impact of changes in the preceding clarification step on the fouling response of a subsequent cation exchange capture step. Laboratory columns (2,5 and 12 cm height) were subjected to varying fouling challenges of Escherichia coli lysate containing different amounts of solids carried over from the previous step. Changes in trans-column pressure drop and breakthrough of the target protein (Fab′) were monitored. The limits of operability of the resin were determined with respect to the process material's properties. This information was used to extract the parameters for the adsorption kinetics used in the general rate (GR) model to create windows of operation for manufacturing scale operation. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2011