During the last week of June, our Head of Scale-up and Production Fredrik Wahlbom conducted the first successful fermentation run on our 70 L bioreactor. Fredrik has been working on refurbishing and repurposing this bioreactor since the beginning of the year. Below you can read about the exciting journey, as well as about the origin of its nickname:
“About a year ago, Chromologics acquired a used Applikon 70 L Bio Pilot bioreactor. It had been used by an American pharma company and, therefore, operated at 115V. Local fermentation sales techs told us that the equipment was too old and could not be adapted to our needs, but I wanted to prove them wrong. In January 2022, I started to retrofit the bioreactor to fit our purpose. As a first step, I ran a pressure test of the tank and jacket and that didn’t show any leaks, so I continued with the remaining parts. The assessment showed that not only was the steel in good condition, but also most parts could be used with a European 230V electricity system. We only had to buy a new thermal heating block and a control unit. To keep costs low, I wrote and installed a new communication system. The system is connected to an external computer and sensors, pumps and an agitation motor are controlled by my homemade Labview program.
After spending so much time with the bioreactor I felt it deserved more than being called the “70L reactor”. We nicknamed it “Carmen”, paraphrasing another red natural colorant, the beetle-derived Carmine.
During the first successful fermentation run, it was a great pleasure to see that everything I worked on was functioning as intended!”
We are happy to see our employees’ hard work turn into a success. For Chromologics, “Carmen” enables us to accelerate our R&D work without being dependent on third parties.