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A novel toolbox for E. coli lysis monitoring

V.Rajamanickam, D.Wurm, C.Slouka, C.Herwig, O.Spadiut

Anal Bioanal Chem (2016)

The bacterium Escherichia coli is a well-studied recombinant host organism with a plethora of applications in biotechnology. Highly valuable biopharmaceuticals, such as antibody fragments and growth factors, are currently being produced in E. coli. However, the high metabolic burden during recombinant protein production can lead to cell death, consequent lysis, and undesired product loss. Thus, fast and precise analyzers to monitor E. coli bioprocesses and to retrieve key process information, such as the optimal time point of harvest, are needed. However, such reliable monitoring tools are still scarce to date. In this study, we cultivated an E. coli strain producing a recombinant single-chain antibody fragment in the cytoplasm. In bioreactor cultivations, we purposely triggered cell lysis by pH ramps. We developed a novel toolbox using UV chromatograms as fingerprints and chemometric techniques to monitor these lysis events and used flow cytometry (FCM) as reference method to quantify viability offline. Summarizing, we were able to show that a novel toolbox comprising HPLC chromatogram fingerprinting and data science tools allowed the identification of E. coli lysis in a fast and reliable manner. We are convinced that this toolbox will not only facilitate E. coli bioprocess monitoring but will also allow enhanced process control in the future

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