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Maria del Carme Pons Royo

Maria del Carme Pons Royo

Background:
I am a bioprocess engineer with experience in design, development, integration, and optimization of biotechnological products. I completed a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and a Master of Science in Life Science & Technology with emphasis in Biochemical engineering and cell factory from TU Delft. There, I had the chance to be involved in innovative scientific projects focused on protein purification. At my industrial internship, I worked in the downstream process of therapeutic proteins from their first purification steps until their formulation and I acquired experience in advanced analytic techniques for bioprocesses. In addition, I develop viral vaccines using advanced technologies in mammalian cells and develop new methods for data management and data analytics. The past work experience drove my motivation and desire to be part of the CODOBIO ITN program working on continuous downstream process where I can further challenge myself to learn and gain expertise in the field.

About ESR 2:
Quality of product in batch and continuous: counter-current membrane filtration and chromatography
Recent improvements in upstream process and fermentation, the increasing competition between companies due to biosimilars, shifted the bottlenecks to the downstream of the process. A basic process for downstream purification accounts for approximately 50% of the manufacturing cost. Hence, there is a clear need of new approaches for protein purification. In the recent years, precipitation has gained interest as an alternative to protein A chromatography. It is a very versatile unit operation that can be employed for impurity as well as for product precipitation. To develop and to optimize these purification steps, microfluidic devices are an interesting tool. They advance to obtain process relevant data during early-stage process, shortening the time of the experiments and reducing the overall costs. These devices have been already used in upstream process development for therapeutic proteins and slowly they are being applied to the downstream process.

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