The demand for biopharmaceuticals has increased over the past few decades. There are currently over 200 biotherapeutics on the market, with many more in trials or in the pipeline. Many of the recent biotherapeutics are monoclonal antibody therapies, with the treatment for COVID-19 being one of the more famous examples. Monoclonal antibody therapies are quickly becoming the standard of care for various cancers, anti-immune disorders, and chronic inflammatory diseases. This increase in demand requires the development of novel adsorptive chromatography media to ensure high-volume throughput of purified product. These media use multiple modes of interaction with the product to recover it selectively from impurities in the feed solution, leading to mathematically complex models to describe the adsorption process. In this talk, we discuss the development of a computational simulation environment to aid in the design of efficient production facilities which incorporate these novel adsorption media. We provide analysis of discretizations of the nonlinear adsorption model, and we demonstrate the use of the simulations to evaluate the impact of design changes on metrics of interest to the biopharmaceutical industry.
BIO: Dr. Lea Jenkins graduated from NCSU with a Ph.D. in mathematics and is currently an associate professor in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at Clemson University. Her research interests center on mathematical applications; she is particularly motivated by problems which allow her to work in an interdisciplinary environment. Her current focus includes the development of simulation environments for agricultural sustainability and for the production of biopharmaceuticals. She is a member of a research team whose work on mathematics used to help drought-stricken farmers in California was featured in a PBS NewsHour Science Friday segment, "How Math Is Growing More Strawberries in California", and an NSF Discovery article, "Strawberries With a Thirst".