Lifecycle costs are an important consideration in evaluating single-use systems against conventional stainless-steel designs.
Generally, the less expensive single-use components provide more favorable economics. Simple storage bags for media, buffer,
or intermediate product generally have positive economics when compared to stainless-steel vessels for the same purpose. The
high replacement costs for more complex single-use systems, such as large mixing bags or bioreactors, tend to offset any savings
that might be realized. However, the economic benefits of getting to market faster can dwarf lifecycle costs, and therefore,
the impact of single-use systems on the project timeline needs to be considered where time to market is a significant driver.
Barak I. Barnoon is associate director of process engineering, Biotech Technology and Engineering (BTE), Wyeth Biotech, 978.247.4746, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Bader is a senior manager of technology at PharmaBio, Jacobs Engineering.
1. Robinson J, Bader R. Economics of vaccine production using virus like particles in insect cell culture. Interphex. Philadelphia,
PA; 2008 Mar 26–28.