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The 6 Trends to Look Out for in Chromatography, Part 3: Improving Quality, Yield, and Consistency with Bioinert Materials

Use of Bioinert materials in the wetted path of analytical instrument design is one step in the process of improving overall chromatography processes. In part 1 of this series, we featured the wide-reaching effects of a smaller footprint, and Part 2 covered the need for chemists to run samples immediately. Upcoming articles will discuss integrated assemblies, portability and capillary electrophoresis.

Bioinert materials are a crucial part of the growing personalized medicine industry. The first wave of personalized medicines has already changed the way diseases are identified, classified, and treated. We live in a new age of drug development and treatment where companies are creating wonder drugs and providing lifesaving treatments with far fewer side effects than conventional therapeutics. Their aim is to get the right treatment at the right dose at the right time, and with that comes the need for the right equipment.

Most healthcare experts believe personalized medicine will soon become standard practice. The route to that destination, however, requires more than knowledge of diseases and genetic makeup. It requires diagnostic tests to be able to identify and monitor disease-causing elements. Breakthrough medication cannot happen without instrumentation that enables speed and accuracy during bioinert sampling.

That’s why chromatography and the engineers behind the work are vital. From early-stage drug discovery to process-scale production, companies need to provide accurate, reproducible data. Only then can they validate assays and optimize the production of safer, better drugs.

Growing Impact of Personalized Medicine

Everyone is different at a genetic and molecular level, and it’s difficult to design medicine that produces the same effect across different populations. But gaining a greater understanding of a person’s genotype and phenotype empowers companies to develop drugs that are more likely to deliver positive outcomes. For example, developing molecular profiles of patients enables innovate oncology care that is targeted for better results with fewer side effects.

Today, there are more personalized medicines in the clinical pipeline than ever before — 42% of medicines in development have the potential to be personalized. Expected benefits are …

  • Better lifestyle intervention to prevent diseases
  • Earlier detection of diseases
  • Active treatment monitoring in response to disease progression
  • Faster connections of patients to clinical trials
  • Individualized treatment strategies that improve outcomes

It also means life science facilities must be properly equipped if they are to keep up with the ever-growing industry.

3 Things You Don’t Want

As chemistries and workflows become more complicated, the need for innovative materials and new instrument designs is critical and one small mistake could have a big impact. Here are three things to avoid:

1. You don’t want your protein sticking to metal. As companies develop targeted therapies, understanding a person’s genetic makeup isn’t enough. A gene doesn’t always get transcribed properly, so the body’s proteins — the proteome — also need to be studied through liquid chromatography. But the process also depends upon engineers who select the right instrument design.

The beauty of bioinert materials is that they don’t initiate a response or interact when introduced to biological tissue. Traditional stainless steel column hardware and wetted path components can cause the absorption of biological samples. Polymers and metals such as titanium prevent this problem.

2. You don’t want inconsistent results. Analytical chemists demand extremely high efficiency and consistency. They want accurate, reproducible data to validate assays. After all, new drugs will need to work as intended, every single time, without deviation. To that end, companies need innovative instrument designs to properly test bioinert materials.

3. You don’t want unnecessary sampling delays or costs. Increased speed at a lower cost per sample is a general goal for companies handling chromatography. Real-time sampling helps indicate where problems with yield, quality or consistency are occurring, and enables manufacturers to change parameters on the spot. Think of the importance of real-time sampling to a pharmaceutical company aiming to create a targeted drug that could increase the survival rate of colorectal cancer patients.

Mott works with the world’s largest pharmaceutical and instrument manufacturers to develop customized solutions that improve results and repeatability. If you have a project you’re working on that requires filtration or flow control support we’re eager to speak with you. Use the button below to learn more about our capabilities.

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About the Author

My name is Greg Tedeschi, and I am the product manager of Life Sciences at Mott. If you have feedback on this article, I’d love to hear it. Feel free to send me an email or connect with me on LinkedIn to start a conversation. And, as always, if you would like to connect with Mott about developing the latest technology for chromatography, such as new materials, integrated assemblies, and 3D printing, please feel free to use the contact button on this page to reach our engineering team.