Year: 2016-17

Company: Bristol-Myers Squibb

Liaison(s): Angela Au, Brianna Biscardi, Matthew Vetere

Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMS ) is a world leader in supplying patients with medications that help them overcome serious disease. The company has shifted from small molecule pharmaceuticals to biologics, with a focus in immuno-oncology. Biologics are produced from genetically engineered mammalian cells, starting from thaw of frozen cell vials which are expanded through the inoculum, seed train, and ultimately to a production scale bioreactor. Scale-down models ( SDM ) should be lab-scale representations of the production-scale bioreactors. Ideally, SDMs should account for scale effects realized between bioreactor sizes. SDMs are used to conduct experimental studies for process characterization, resolving manufacturing problems, improving process performance, and qualifying cell banks. SDMs can be developed using different engineering strategies. Literature suggests keeping certain empirical parameters constant, including: impeller tip speed, energy dissipation rate, mixing time, oxygen mass transfer coefficient, and shear forces. The limitations for each of these SDM strategies must be understood when developing the SDM. Recent literature suggests that Computational Fluid Dynamics ( CFD ) can also be used to develop SDMs. CFD is an engineering tool that utilizes numerical analysis to solve and analyze problems involving fluid flows. In this Team Master’s Project, the team will utilize CFD to develop an improved SDM of a production scale bioreactor. The team will collaborate with engineers and scientists from Bristol-Myers Squibb to qualify the model developed using CFD.