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Speeding Up Biopharma Storage with Microwaves

Bioprocessing goes for nothing if the product cannot be stored. Like other aspects of making biopharmaceuticals, the speed of getting a product in storage counts, but today’s method involves freeze-drying, which can be slow. Chemical engineer Richard Braatz, PhD, Edwin R. Gilliland Professor at MIT, and his colleagues described a way to speed up that storage step.

These scientists explored the idea of combining microwave irradiation and heat conduction to accelerate freeze-drying. By building a mechanistic model of the process, Braatz says, “a combination of microwave power and heat conduction is predicted to reduce the primary drying time during lyophilization by a factor of five.”

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