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Emerging technologies for the integration and intensification of downstream bioprocesses

Roy N D‘Souza, Ana M Azevedo, M Raquel Aires-Barros, Nika Lendero Krajnc, Petra Kramberger, Maria Laura Carbajal, Mariano Grasselli, Roland Meyer & Marcelo Fernández-Lahore

Vol. 1, No. 5, Pharmaceutical Bioprocessing (2013)

Downstream processing is currently the major bottleneck for bioproduct generation. In contrast to the advances in fermentation processes, the tools used for downstream processes have struggled to keep pace in the last 20 years. Purification bottlenecks are quite serious, as these processes can account for up to 80% of the total production cost. Coupled with the emergence of new classes of bioproducts, for example, virus-like particles or plasmidic DNA, this has created a great need for superior alternatives. In this review, improved downstream technologies, including aqueous two-phase systems, expanded bed adsorption chromatography, convective flow systems, and fibre-based adsorbent systems, have been discussed. These adaptive methods are more suited to the burgeoning downstream processing needs of the future, enabling the cost-efficient production of new classes biomaterials with a high degree of purity, and thereby hold the promise to become indispensable tools in the pharmaceutical and food industries.

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