Performance guarantees and optimal purification decisions for engineered proteins

Tugce Martagan, Ananth Krishnamurthy, Peter A. Leland, Christos T. Maravelias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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 (US)
Pages (from-to)18-41
Number of pages24
JournalOperations Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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


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