Year: 2020-21

Company: Boehringer Ingelheim

Liaison(s): Dominique Monteil, Daniel Bock, Brendan Lianoz

Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) is a privately-owned, research-driven pharmaceutical company, with the aim of improving health and quality of life of humans and animals by developing innovative treatments for diseases with no or few satisfactory existing treatments. Characterizing bioreactors and performing mixing studies are critical processes for drug manufacturing because they can help predict and/or ensure cell productivity, protein quality, upstream timeline, and potential economic costs. Utilizing Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) allows for visualization of singlephase ?ow in stirred tanks that may not be possible via empirical experiments, thus providing in-depth details about the ?uid ?ow with less experimental resources.

During the 2020-2021 school year, KGI collaborated with BI in a Team Master’s Project (TMP) to characterize and optimize four different sizes of bioreactors using Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulations. The team built bioreactor models and ran simulations to confirm or determine the power numbers, vector profiles, and mixing times. In addition, the team compiled a handbook that incorporated the work done this year with that of the previous four years of CFD work on BI reactors and mixing tanks. All together, this provided BI with a comprehensive characterization of their bioreactors and mixing tanks, allowing for more efficient use of resources.