Ireland moves ahead in PAT for biopharmaceuticals

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Dr Karen Twomey, holding a PATsule

Ireland has established pharmaceuticals as one of their major production industries, and this has led to a major concentration of expertise, particularly around Cork. The Tyndall National Institute there, with others, have developed a smart sensor capsule for use in bioreactors, to provide process analytical information – a true PAT sensor. Given the name of a ‘PATsule’, the sensor is designed to float freely about in the process liquids, to transmit in-situ process monitoring even from within the active biofluid: it communicates with the rest of the world using wireless. The PATsule “uses a multi-disciplinary approach of micro- and nano-sensor technology, miniaturised instrumentation, data analytics and wireless communications” according to Dr Karen Twomey, at Tyndall. The PATsule has been specifically used in the production of protein therapies.

In March even more pharma expertise will visit Cork, as the ISA from America recognizes Ireland’s status as the place to review modern pharmaceutical production by bringing the Food and Pharma Division symposium to Cork. This is the first time ever that this symposium will be held outside North America.  Special attention will be paid in the meeting to the rôle of automation technology and innovation in the industry, particularly relating to regulatory requirements and manufacturing costs. The dates to be in Cork are 14-15 March.

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