Laboratory Equipment

Antibodies, Bioassays, and Cells

It’s no surprise that immunochemistry forms a broad and solid basis of biopharmaceutical analytical laboratory work. Immunochemicals include antibiotics and antigens, nucleic acids and nucleotides, enzymes, lipids, antioxidants, probes and dyes, and proteins and peptides. Available from companies such as Advanced Immunochemical, Immundiagnostik, Lampire Biological Laboratories, and Rockland Antibodies and Assays, their many uses include antibody isotyping and fragmentation. Adjuvants, buffers, assay kits, target biomolecules, and phage-display systems support those applications. Because background and off-target effects complicate the study of…

Protein Scaffolds

The recent success of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) as therapeutic agents to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders (Table 1) has catapulted these once difficult-to-develop molecules to the forefront of modern molecular medicine (1, 2). The size of the global MAb market in 2008 was valued at almost US$28 billion. Industry analysts predict that the size of the MAb market will grow to almost $68 billion by 2015, with the largest growth occurring in…

Biophysical Analysis of Living Cells

Adecades-old technology is finally emerging from clinical laboratories and demonstrating its utility in drug discovery and development. Cell therapy researchers bring their laboratory experiences with them as their science is commercialized. And as biopharmaceutical production engineers incorporate quality by design (QbD) and process analytical technology (PAT) into their work, they find that a method for monitoring the state and distribution of living cells can help build valuable upstream process knowledge. In flow cytometry, cells are suspended in fluid to flow…

Rapid Detection of Pandemics

A Coronavirus — like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) — is back in the headlines. On returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia in summer 2012, a Qatari national was struck down by a mystery respiratory illness. Because of inadequate diagnostic capabilities, the patient was transferred from Qatar to London for intensive-care treatment and diagnosis. The UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) confirmed infection with the same Coronavirus strain discovered by a Dutch team following the death of a Saudi national…

Noninvasive Optical Sensor Technology in Shake Flasks

In process development, appropriate scaling is important to achieve acceptable product quality without compromising titer (1). Scale-down approaches involve matching the oxygen transfer coefficient (kLa) value, impeller tip speed, power per unit volume, or mixing time to those of a bioreactor (2). Bench-top bioreactors are typically used in bioprocess engineering as scale-down models of commercial units in fermentation and cell culture because of their similarity in geometry (H/D ratio) and mechanical properties (agitation type and sparging). By contrast, shaking culture…

Evaluating AMMP Protein A Assays: Comparing Sample Preparation Methods, Ligand Performance & Assay Performance

Regulations governing the production of biopharmaceuticals require high levels of purity for processes utilizing Protein A affinity chromatography. It has been shown that Protein A in the presence of IgG forms a PA/IgG complex that interferes in the traditional immunoassay format for detecting Protein A. In this work we evaluated the AMMP Protein A Assay using two popular sample preparation methods to dissociate the ProteinA/IgG complex. The AMMP assay was also tested with Protein A ligands from multiple sources including…

A Single-Use Bioreactor for Both Cell and Microbial Cultures: A Dream Becomes Reality

Application of single-use equipment is common practice in the biopharmaceutical industrial and academic field. Compared to the traditional glass or stainless steel bioreactors, single-use bioreactors offer clear advantages: a quicker turnaround time; minimal utilities required; greatly reduced risk of cross contamination; more operational flexibility; reduced validation requirements. However, until recently, single-use bioreactors have a restricted application, only to animal cell cultures due to limitations in mixing and mass-transfer. As single-use technology not only has significant benefits for cell culture processes,…

Optical Oxygen and pH Sensors for Monitoring Biofermentation Processes

Advances in high-performance sensor materials and optoelectronics have enabled optical sensors for use in markets including the life sciences, environmental, food and beverage, process control and biotechnology. Compared with traditional electrochemical sensing techniques such as galvanic, paramagnetic and fuel cell sensors, these optical sensors can be made in small and customizable form factors such as probes and self-adhesive patches. The sensors also have fast response, provide long-term stability and are chemically inert. This experiment demonstrates the viability of optical sensors…