SMB also can handle more complex separation such as purification of proteins. However, some modifications to the standard unit design are necessary to allow for packing regeneration .
As SMB technology becomes more widespread, a larger variety of applications undoubtedly will be developed and publicized.
The pharmaceutical industry is investigating SMB as a production tool, attracted by its fast method development and easy scale up. A few roadblocks still exist but they are fading away as more and more units find their way into both industry and universities. Contract manufacturing companies now use SMB units at different scale and major pharmaceutical companies are installing their own production units. As the technology evolves, such systems will become more of a routine unit operation rather than the “niche technology” of a few experts.
Dr. Kathleen Mihlbachler is research scientist in MS&T for Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Ind. E-mail her at email@example.com.
Dr. Olivier Dapremont is director, chromatographic separations, for Aerojet Fine Chemicals, Rancho Cordova, Calif. E-mail him at Olivier.Dapremont@aerojet.com.
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