This study deals with the control design of a tubular enzymatic reactor to be used in the extracorporeal treatment of leukaemia in children. Tubular reactors are non-linear and time-varying distributed parameter systems with complex dynamics so that it is difficult to have high performance and safe operation when conventional classical control procedures are employed. In this work, an adaptive controller based on a state space approach is developed and tested for the control of a biochemical reactor using L-asparaginase attached to an internal open nylon tube. As a medical system, the design must be simple and safe to operate. It is shown that the control algorithm is adequate to maintain the system in specified operational conditions when the manipulated variable was the electric current, even when significant disturbances take place as well as set-point changes (servo control). This makes the L-asparaginase reactor an efficient method in the treatment of leukaemia.
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