• economic modeling;
  • lactoperoxidase;
  • opportunity cost;
  • centrifugal sediment compression;
  • precipitation;
  • ultra scale-down


This article investigates the integrated application of ultra scale-down (USD) techniques and economic modeling as a means for identifying optimal bioprocess operating conditions. The benefits of the approach are illustrated for the recovery of lactoperoxidase (LPO) from bovine milk. In the process, milk is skimmed to deplete its lipid content, before being subjected to low pH incubation with acetic acid in order to precipitate the primary impurity (casein). Following removal of the solids by disk stack centrifugation, pH adjustment and filtration, cation exchange chromatography is used as a positive mode column step to bind the LPO before it is polished and freeze dried. An economic model of this process was used to identify where greatest product loss occurs and hence where the largest opportunity cost was being incurred. Scale-down analysis was used to characterize the influence of the critical steps, identified as precipitation and centrifugation, upon LPO recovery. A mathematical model was used to relate the centrifuge feed flowrate and discharge interval to the supernatant yield, and it was shown that increasing the centrifugal solids residence time achieved superior solids de-watering and so higher product yield, although this also increased the overall processing time. To resolve this conflict, scale-down data were used again in conjunction with an economic model to determine the most suitable conditions that maximized annual profit and minimized operating costs. The results demonstrate the power of combining USD data with models of economic and process performance in order to establish the best overall operating strategies for biopharmaceutical manufacture. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2011