Study of robustness of filamentous bacteriophages for industrial applications

Authors

  • Steven Branston,

    1. Department of Biochemical Engineering, The Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, University College London, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE, UK; telephone: +44-20-7679-2961; fax: +44-20-7209-0703
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  • Emma Stanley,

    1. Research Department of Structural and Molecular Biology, University College London, The Darwin Building, Gower Street, London, UK
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  • John Ward,

    1. Research Department of Structural and Molecular Biology, University College London, The Darwin Building, Gower Street, London, UK
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  • Eli Keshavarz-Moore

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biochemical Engineering, The Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, University College London, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE, UK; telephone: +44-20-7679-2961; fax: +44-20-7209-0703
    • Department of Biochemical Engineering, The Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, University College London, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE, UK; telephone: +44-20-7679-2961; fax: +44-20-7209-0703.
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Abstract

The development of a whole new class of industrial agents, such as biologically based nanomaterials and viral vectors, has raised many challenges for their large-scale manufacture, principally due to the lack of essential physical data and bioprocessing knowledge. A new example is the promise of filamentous bacteriophages and their derivatives. As a result, there is now an increasing need for the establishment of strong biochemical engineering foundations to serve as a guide for future manufacture. This article investigates the effect of high-energy fluid flow on filamentous bacteriophage M13 to determine its robustness for large-scale processing. By the application of well-understood ultra scale-down predictive techniques, the viability of bacteriophage M13 was studied as a measure of its robustness and as a function of energy dissipation rate and fluid conditions. These experiments suggested that despite being perceived as a relatively fragile molecule in the literature, bacteriophage M13 should tolerate processing conditions in existing large-scale equipment designs. No loss of viability was noted up to a maximum energy dissipation rate of 2.9 × 106 W kg−1. Furthermore, significant losses above this threshold only occurred over periods well in excess of the exposure times expected in a bioprocess environment. Filamentous bacteriophages may therefore be regarded as a viable process material for industrial applications. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2011; 108:1468–1472. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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