Industry & Business

Tyndall Institute announces revolutionary bioprocessing capsule

Tyndall Institute announces revolutionary bioprocessing capsule

October 20
09:30 2015

 tyndallA sensor capsule developed in Ireland is set to radically improve the efficient production and quality of biopharmaceutical therapies, benefiting Ireland’s growing biopharmaceutical industry and breakthrough medicines of the future.

Tyndall National Institute, Cork, and the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), Dublin, recently announced the development of the “Process Analytical Technology Sensor Capsule” (PATsule) project. The PATsule will develop wireless smart sensor capsules to monitor the production process of advanced biological treatments that could treat conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Pharmaceutical products represent more than half of all Irish exports, and Ireland is a global hub for the production of biopharmaceuticals. This swiftly developing area of medicine involves treatments derived from biological origins, such as vaccines, gene therapies, cell therapy and protein therapies.

Producing biopharmaceuticals is a complex procedure, involving living tissues, cells and materials. The production process, called bioprocessing, requires constant and detailed monitoring to ensure that products develop properly in bioreactors, the vessels that contain biological materials. This is where the PATsule comes in.

Previous sensors have been fixed in one position and could only monitor material that directly passed their surface. The PATsule sensor capsule will move around freely in the bioreactor during production, providing a stream of data to monitor factors that might affect product yield or quality.

The PATsule has the potential to revolutionise bioprocess monitoring and control. A more informed process will improve the ability to manufacture therapeutic proteins, enhance their quality, increase their speed to market and benefit medical professionals and patients by reducing the cost of therapies.

PATsule is a joint venture between Tyndall and NIBRT and is funded by Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund, which has committed €347,870 to the project. The collaboration will be coordinated from Tyndall by Dr Karen Twomey and from NIBRT by Dr Jonathan Bones, employing research assistants and postdoctoral researchers across both institutions.

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