Niels Nicolaï


BIOMATH, Model-based analysis and optimisation of (bio)processesNiels Nicolaï
Department of Mathematical Modelling, Statistics and Bioinformatics

Coupure Links 653
B-9000 Gent (Belgium)
Tel.: +32-9-264.61.96
Fax: +32-9-264.62.20
E-mail: Niels.Nicolai@UGent.be
Education: Bio-engineer

Development and implementation of supervisory closed-loop control strategies for continuous manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry

Traditionally, production of pharmaceuticals is realized using batch processing steps which can be fairly inefficient, time-consuming and poorly upscalable. Recent clarification by the regulatory authorities as well as the industry have accelerated the search for new manufacturing technologies. Consequently, a transition towards continuous manufacturing which includes real-time process monitoring and closed-loop control, has gained tremendous attention over the past few years. This because of the economic, environmental, safety and product-related advantages of a continuous manufacturing line. Driven by this change in mind-set, an innovative continuous from powder-to-tablet line (ConsiGmaTM-25, ColletteTM, GEA Pharma Systems) was developed for secondary manufacturing of pharmaceutical tablets.

Previous and current studies at this research group are mainly focussing on the development of advanced measurement tools, which allow for real-time monitoring, and first principle models to ensure an improved understanding of the different phenomena occurring during processing. Based on this knowledge a valid system-wide closed-loop control strategy, for the ConsiGmaTM-25, will be developed in this project.


This project is co-promoted by:

  • Prof. Dr. Thomas De Beer, Laboratory of Pharmaceutical PAT, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ghent University, Belgium.
  • Prof. Dr. Ingmar Nopens, BIOMATH, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium.
  • Prof. Dr. Krist Gernaey, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Process Engineering and Technology, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark.