Using Process Analytical Technology for the Production of Polymers

The ultraDAWN™ detector available from Wyatt Technology is a breakthrough in process analytical technology developed for producing polymers, biopharmaceuticals, and nanoparticles.

Real-Time Multi-Angle Light Scattering

The ultraDAWN quantifies multi-angle light scattering and reports the results, for example, rms radius (Rg) and weight-average molecular weight (Mw), in real time. Through real-time multi-angle light scattering (RT-MALS), critical quality attributes (CQAs) can be directly monitored for quick feedback on process and product quality.

Benefits of RT-MALS

  • Process development and scale-up can be accelerated
  • Yield can be increased, and the overall time taken until lot release can be reduced
  • Product quality can be maintained with confidence

Where MALS and PAT Meet

An exclusive member of the DAWN® range of MALS instruments, the ultraDAWN does not reside in the analytical laboratory, like other MALS instruments from Wyatt Technology, but rather, it is adapted to production environments and pilot plants. The OBSERVER™ software is used to estimate and report molar size and mass, 30 times per minute.

PAT instruments generally monitor process parameters such as pressure, feedstock, temperature, and pH. These parameters are linked indirectly to the properties and quality of products. The ultraDAWN transforms process development with its continuous and direct measurements of the properties of real products.

The ultraDAWN includes an intelligent user interface that indicates the molar size and mass along with system health diagnostics. It also includes photodetectors at 18 scattering angles and one more to quantify light transmitted via the flow cell.

Real-Time Multi-Angle Light Scattering

Image Credit: Wyatt Technology

These features enable the ultraDAWN to offer a solution for:

  • Real-time monitoring of Rg from 10 to 250 nm and Mw from 103 to 109 g/mol. For molar mass analysis, the present version of the OBSERVER™ software needs fixed analyte concentration and solvent composition.
  • Activating critical alarms or process endpoints
  • Instant detection of particulate contamination

Process Integration Options

  • Integration with production control software through OPC
  • On-line or in-line configuration
  • Slipstream or process flow rates from 0.1 to 5 mL/minute

Real-Time Operation

In-line

For continuous processes like chromatographic purification steps or encapsulation of microfluidic drugs that occur at flows below 5 mL/minute, in-line RT-MALS offers the brief feedback loop while the ultraDAWN samples the whole process stream.

On-line

When processing happens within a fixed volume like a homogenizer, or when the process flow is higher than 5 mL/minute, a bypass stream is sent from the manufacturing process to the ultraDAWN. In addition, the RT-MALS data is created in near-real-time.

At-line/off-line

For an in-depth analysis, products can be defined by methods like FFF-MALS or SEC-MALS. Such methods offer absolute, high-resolution distributions of molar size and mass, although not in real time. A typical DAWN® MALS instrument is used together with an Eclipse™ field-flow fractionation system or an SEC system.

Real-Time Multi-Angle Light Scattering

Image Credit: Wyatt Technology

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