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Beyond de-foaming: the effects of antifoams on bioprocess productivity

Keywords: Recombinant protein , optimization , oxygen transfer , kLa , P. pastoris

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Abstract:

Antifoams are often added to bioprocesses with little knowledge of their impact on the cells or product. However, it is known that certain antifoams can affect the growth rates of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms in addition to changing surface properties such as lipid content, resulting in changes to permeability. This in turn can be beneficial to a recombinant protein production system for soluble proteins, as has been demonstrated by increased secretion of α-amylase and GFP, or achievement of greater yields of protein due to increased biomass. However, in some cases, certain concentrations of antifoams appear to have a detrimental effect upon cells and protein production, and the effects vary depending upon the protein being expressed. These findings emphasise the importance of optimising and understanding antifoam addition to bioprocesses.

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