The kinetics of solid-liquid extraction and extraction yields of the immunosuppressant drug Cyclosporin A (CyA) from the mycelia of Tolypocladium inflatum were examined in this study. A 2 L stirred, baffled vessel was used to extract CyA from wet mycelia mass. Three different organic solvents were used, namely, methanol, acetone, and isopropanol at different concentrations in aqueous mixtures at room temperature. It was found that the best solvent was acetone at 50% v/v concentration achieving 100% extraction of CyA from the mycelia of T. inflatum. Although acetone proved to be the better solvent for CyA extraction, further studies were performed using methanol. A linear relationship was found between extraction yield of CyA and methanol concentration with 100% CyA extraction at 90% v/v methanol. The partition coefficients of CyA between the solid mycelia phase and the aqueous solvent phase were found to decrease exponentially with increasing methanol concentration. A liquid extraction model was developed based on the diffusion equation to correlate the kinetic data of CyA extraction from the solid mycelia of T. inflatum. Non-linear regression analysis of experimental data was used with the diffusion equation in order to calculate the effective diffusivities of CyA in the mycelia of T. inflatum. For all three organic solvents used, the effective diffusivities of CyA were found to be between 4.41 × 10−15 and 6.18 × 10−14 m2/s. This is the first time CyA effective diffusivities in T. inflatum are reported in the literature. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2007;96: 67–79. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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