Performance guarantees and optimal purification decisions for engineered proteins

T. Martagan, A. Krishnamurthy, P.A. Leland, C.T. Maravelias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
226 Downloads (Pure)


We investigate protein purification operations conducted by biomanufacturers and pharmaceutical companies as part of their research and development efforts. Purification of these proteins involves unique challenges such as balancing the yield and purity trade-offs, dealing with uncertainty in the starting material, and estimating the impact of several interlinked decisions.We develop a Markov decision model and partition the state space into decision zones that provide managerial insights to optimize purification operations. We develop practical guidelines to quantify financial risks, and we characterize the optimal operating decisions based on specific production requirements. The optimization framework has been implemented at Aldevron, a contract biomanufacturer specializing in proteins, and has resulted in 25% reduction in the total lead times and 20% reduction in the costs of protein purification operations on average.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-41
Number of pages24
JournalOperations Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Biomanufacturing
  • Guaranteed performance
  • Reachability of target set
  • Stochastic control


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