Cell-Free fields of application
“Point of care” biomanufacturing is the development of systems in which biological materials such as yeast cells, bacteria or cell lysates are incorporated into specific products such as therapeutic proteins, interferons, recombinant hormones and vaccines at the point of care.
The advantage of this point of care approach to medicine and biomanufacturing is that biologics can be produced in a short time and with lightweight devices, allow patients to be treated with biologics in remote locations, on battlefields, in emergency situations, or in underdeveloped areas with poor infrastructure.
The basic components of “point-of-care” bioproduction devices are:
. a biological expression system designed to express the biotherapeutic product in response to programmable signals
. an integrated microfluidic platform capable of controlling the biomanufacturing process quickly and flexibly, enabling operations to take place remotely.
The biomanufacturing system can be designed to produce more than one biological product simultaneously, provided that they are compatible with one another, and purification methods are integrated into the system. Furthermore, if cell-free extracts are used, they can be stored in freeze-dried form and rehydrated with water, prior to being incubated using body heat to activate the extractable components, demonstrating the remarkable portability of such systems.
The progress already made with this type of technology is promising and shows that it is possible to create portable, fully integrated and closed-system biomanufacturing systems that enable the production of single-dose therapeutic proteins at the point of care.