Single-Use Bioreactors on Rescue for COVID-19 Research

The development of single-use bioreactors started nearly 40 years ago in 1980s. It was around this time that the bio-processors began to use plastic film bags to culture cells, which were initially designed for food storage and culture media containment. Moreover, incremental evolution of the concept of disposable technologies have facilitated various advancements in development and improvement of single-use bioreactors. Presently, there are a number of single-use bioreactor systems used for manufacturing a variety of cell cultures for numerous application areas.

Single-Use Bioreactors on Rescue for COVID-19 Research

What are the key differences between single-use bioreactors and conventional stainless steel bioreactors?

The constant increase in the manufacturing of biologics, expiration of patent of blockbuster drugs / molecules, as well as the limited number of potential pipeline products have motivated companies to adopt niche techniques / technologies, such as single-use bioreactors over convention steel-based bioreactors.

S. No.ParameterSingle-Use BioreactorsConventional Bioreactor
1Cost ReductionHighLow
2Cross contaminationLowHigh
3Easy DisposalHighLow
4Energy DemandRelatively lowHigh
5Installation TimeRelatively lowHigh
6Increase in ProductivityHighModerate
7Maintenance costRelatively lowHigh
8Sterilization ProcessHighLow
9Water UseLowHigh

What are the recent initiatives undertaken by single-use bioreactor developers, to combat COVID-19?

Presently, most bioreactors available in the industry are being used for COVID-19 related research. In fact, we are aware that some our customers are using bioreactors to culture appropriate host cells for the novel coronavirus, in order to study the viral pathogenesis in humans. In fact, in the past few months, the single-use bioreactor developers have undertaken various collaborative initiatives, to develop vaccines / biologics as the potential therapeutic against COVID-19. For instance, ABEC have focused to customize the process solutions and services throughout the development and manufacturing of the entire range of biopharmaceutical products, with the aid of its single-use solutions, and stainless steel equipment.

In addition, during this pandemic, it is believed that the single-use bioreactors might face supply chain concerns resulting due to the fact that the pre-established biotech and pharmaceutical industries are rapidly growing and consuming much of the capacity for the single-use bioreactor bags. However, in terms of the conventional bioreactors, the supply chain risk will not be an issue, although additional cleaning, sterilization, validation, and comparatively longer turn-around time between batches might reduce the overall efficiency.

Single-use bioreactors have already proved their potential in the biopharmaceutical industry. The innovation and adoption of novel single-use technologies have significantly brought down the cost of manufacturing and the total time consumed. Having said that, we are led to believe that this domain will provide lucrative business opportunities in the coming decade.

For further information on this domain, check our report here.

Roots Analysis – Research Insights

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