Investigating the feasibility of mid infrared spectroscopy for monitoring an industrial de-racemization biotransformation process

Peter Gardner, S.A. Arnold, F. Brown, R H Carr, Alison Nordon, Linda Harvey, Brian McNeil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Biotransformation processes have become industrially important in recent years as routes to the manufacture of high value chemical intermediates. However, measurements of key process features and analyte concentrations during these processes are still typically carried out using off-line analysis methods. Vibrational spectroscopic techniques have been extensively utilised for the monitoring and control of a variety of industrial processes. Despite the techniques success with a range of challenging biological matrices, including fermentation and cell culture systems, application of this approach to biotransformation systems has been limited. In the present study the potential of mid infrared spectroscopy to monitor an industrial biotransformation process has been investigated. This process presents a number of difficulties due to the optically challenging sample media, close structural similarities and stoichiometric relationship between the key analytes of interest. A PLS model based on the mid infrared spectra obtained during three replicates of the biotransformation process was constructed. In order to ensure that co-linearity within the system had been adequately addressed the spectral contributors to the model were examined. External validation of the constructed model was achieved by challenging the model with two previously unseen replicates of the process. The constructed model was able to predict the concentrations of two key analytes in various samples from these unseen replicates without the requirement for any time consuming sample pre-treatment stages, thus demonstrating the feasibility of near real-time mid infrared monitoring of an industrial biotransformation process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-55
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Early online date1 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2013


  • industrial biotransformation
  • Pichia pastoris
  • mid infrared
  • process analysis


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