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Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences
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LYTAG-driven Purification Strategies for Monoclonal Antibodies

LYTAG-driven Purification Strategies for Monoclonal Antibodies | iBB | Scoop.it

Monoclonal antibodies are becoming a leading class of biopharmaceuticals but to increase their accessibility to the general population, new production processes must be developed in particular for the downstream processing. In this publication, researchers from BERG-iBB (Ana Azevedo and Raquel Aires-Barros) in collaboration with the biotechnology companies Biomedal S.L. (Seville, Spain) and ChiPro GmbH (Bremen, Germany) propose an alternative and innovative affinity chromatographic purification method using quaternary amine anion-exchange matrices. Separation is driven by the dual affinity ligand LYTAG-Z, composed of a choline binding polypeptide (LYTAG) and the synthetic antibody binding Z domain. Click on title to learn more.

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Biocatalytic Process Intensification in Flow Bioreactors

Biocatalytic Process Intensification in Flow Bioreactors | iBB | Scoop.it

Biocatalysis has widened its scope and relevance with the availability of new molecular tools, e.g. improved expression systems, protein and metabolic engineering, and rational immobilization techniques. However, applications are still hampered by low productivity and scale-up difficulties. A practical step to improve biocatalyst (enzymes, whole-cells) performance is to use flow reactors. In a recent review published in Trends in Biotechnology, Pedro Fernandes from BERG-iBB together with colleagues from the Universities of Milan and Nottingham describe the state of the art on the design and use of biocatalysis in flow reactors. The successes of the technology, new opportunities, problems and advances are critically discussed. Click on title to learn more.

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Featured Photo: Carbon Dots-Shining Bright Like a Diamond

Featured Photo: Carbon Dots-Shining Bright Like a Diamond | iBB | Scoop.it
Description: A suspension of carbon dots seen under UV light, featured photo by Rui Pedro Oliveira Silva, Copyright BERG-iBB 2017. 

Context: BIOTecnico PhD student Rui Pedro Silva, under the supervision of BERG-iBB researcher Miguel Prazeres, is developing highly fluorescent, small carbon nanoparticles (< 10 nm) for applications in biosensing and bioimaging. The work is being performed in the context of iBB's Strategic Area 2: Advanced Bioprocess Engineering.
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Featured Photo: Aerobic Granular Sludge Bioreactors Under a New Light

Featured Photo: Aerobic Granular Sludge Bioreactors Under a New Light | iBB | Scoop.it
Description: Aerobic granular sludge bioreactors operating at laboratory scale pictured under stage-like illumination, featured photo by Nídia Lourenço, Copyright BERG-iBB 2017.

Context: BERG researchers led by Nídia Lourenço and Helena Pinheiro are developing aerobic granular sludge bioreactors as a next generation of wastewater treatment. Under particular focus is the purification of textile effluents bearing recalcitrant dyes and emerging pollutants such as engineered nanoparticles and microplastics. The work is being performed in the context of iBB's Strategic Area 2: Advanced Bioprocess Engineering. The reactors and associated laboratory equipment were the stage of a video feature commissioned by Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional promoting the profession of (bio)chemical laboratory technician.
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Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy of Protein:DNA Supramolecular Complexes

Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy of Protein:DNA Supramolecular Complexes | iBB | Scoop.it

Protein:DNA supramolecular complexes are at the heart of many molecular diagnostic systems. In a paper just published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Ana Rosa and Miguel Prazeres from BERG-iBB and Pedro Paulo from CQE present a fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) study of the complexation of oligonucleotides, antibodies and a chimeric protein of IgG-binding ZZ domains fused with a carbohydrate binding module. The FCS-derived information obtained (diffusion coefficients, association constants, nanometer-scale size of complexes) is useful to gain insight into molecular interactions involved in diagnostic assays. Click on title to learn more.

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Impact of Silver Nanoparticles on Biological Wastewater Treatment

Impact of Silver Nanoparticles on Biological Wastewater Treatment | iBB | Scoop.it
The use of engineered nanoparticles (NPs) in the textile and other industrial sectors has been rapidly increasing and their occurrence in wastewater is expected to rise accordingly. However, the fate of NPs during biological wastewater treatment is largely unknown. A recent study led by Nídia Lourenço from BERG-iBB highlighted the potential application of nuclear microscopy to characterize the interaction of silver-NPs (AgNPs) with biological wastewater treatment systems based on aerobic granular sludge (AGS). Elemental maps of AGS samples revealed that the AgNPs were preferentially associated to extracellular polymeric substances, which represents an important step forward regarding their effective removal from textile wastewater.
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Featured Photo: Microscopic Structure of Chromatographic Paper (100X)

Featured Photo: Microscopic Structure of Chromatographic Paper (100X) | iBB | Scoop.it

Description: Microscopic structure of chromatographic paper (100 Xs), featured photo by Ana Rosa and Miguel Prazeres, Copyright BERG-iBB 2016.


Context: BERG researchers led by Miguel Prazeres are developing paper-based biosensors for molecular diagnostics by combining affinity-based anchoring of biomolecules with nanoparticle-based detection. The work is being performed in the context of iBB’s Strategic Area 2: Advanced Bioprocess Engineering.

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Enzymatic Synthesis of Alkyl Esters in Miniemulsions

Enzymatic Synthesis of Alkyl Esters in Miniemulsions | iBB | Scoop.it

Oil-in-water miniemulsions display potential for application as a “green” system in the enzymatic alkyl ester synthesis. BERG-iBB researchers led by Luís Fonseca combined miniemulsion systems with medium engineering to increase the yields and produtivity of the cutinase-catalysed synthesis of medium-chain alkyl esters. Enzyme stability and reutilization were tuned by operating in a fed-batch mode, which allowed long-term utilization of the free enzyme. Click on title to learn more.


Photo details: 3D structure of cutinase from F. Solani pisi with catalytic triad in blue (PDB code: 1AGY).

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Enzymatic Synthesis of Chiral Amino-Alcohols in a Continuous-Flow Microreactor System

Enzymatic Synthesis of Chiral Amino-Alcohols in a Continuous-Flow Microreactor System | iBB | Scoop.it

Chiral amino-alcohols are key building blocks in the production of optically pure pharmaceuticals. While many of these compounds can be synthesized enzymatically, the rapid process development and intensification continues to be challenging. A recent contribution co-authored by BERG-iBB researchers Pedro Fernandes and Filipe Carvalho with UCL colleagues led by Nicolas Szita presents a novel microreactor-based approach based on free enzymes for the synthesis of the chiral building block ABT. The system couples a transketolase- and a transaminase-catalyzed reaction and is operated continuously. The presented approach illustrates how continuous-flow microreactors can be applied for the design and optimization of biocatalytic processes. Click on title to learn more about the work on Biotechnology and Bioengineering. Photo: 3D model of transketolase from Escherichia coli (pdb 1QGD).

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Process Simulation and Economic Analysis of mAbs Purification

Process Simulation and Economic Analysis of mAbs Purification | iBB | Scoop.it

Monoclonal antibodies are expensive to produce in part due to their purification process, which is centered in protein-A affinity chromatography. A recent publication by Ana Azevedo and co-workers from BERG-iBB highlights a novel purification strategy for mAbs comprising phenylboronic acid multimodal chromatography for capture followed by polishing by ion exchange monolithic chromatography and packed bed hydrophobic interaction chromatography. Process simulation and economical analysis show that the new process is worth investing in and could present a viable alternative to the platform process used by most industrial players. Click on title to learn more.

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Ruben Soares Selected as Finalist of the Merck F&B Safety Award

Ruben Soares Selected as Finalist of the Merck F&B Safety Award | iBB | Scoop.it

Ruben Soares, a PhD student at INESC MN and BERG-iBB has been selected as one of 4 finalists in the Merck Life Science Food and Beverage Safety Award for the work he is doing for his PhD thesis on Microfluidic Platforms for Mycotoxin Detection. As a finalist, Merck will pay for Ruben to travel to Burlington, MA, USA on 17-18 October for the award ceremony where one of the finalists will be selected to receive the award. Click on title to learn more about the award.

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BERG Research Featured in Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

BERG Research Featured in Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | iBB | Scoop.it

The microfluidic platform developed by BERG researchers led by Ana Azevedo in collaboration with INESC-MN for high throughput screening of chromatographic conditions has been featured in the June issue of the premier biotech publication GEN-Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. The platform contains microcolumns that are fabricated in the laboratory using soft lithography and packed with nL-volumes of resin chromatography beads. Experiments require only about 2.5 µg of target protein and low sample and reagent volumes. Click on title ot learn more. 

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A Bespoke Capillary Wall-Coated Microreactor

A Bespoke Capillary Wall-Coated Microreactor | iBB | Scoop.it

The use of microscale set-ups for the fast development of bioprocesses has been gaining momentum. Within this, continuous flow operation for enzymatic reaction is particularly appealing, as it allows for steady state and ease of automation. In a paper recently published in the journal Catalysts, Pedro Fernandes and Filipe Carvalho from BERG-iBB, together with Marco Marques from UCL, presented a prototype of a home-made, easy to assemble capillary enzymatic microreactor. The assembly of the device only required materials commonly found in research labs, proved to be reproducible and reliable, and allowed for the detailed characterization of the model reaction system chosen, the production of invert syrup from sucrose. It is foreseen that the device can be easily adapted to other reaction systems and thus further disseminate the use of miniaturized set-ups for bioprocess development. Click on title to learn more.

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iBB Strategic Area 2: Advanced Bioprocess Engineering

iBB Strategic Area 2: Advanced Bioprocess Engineering | iBB | Scoop.it
Challenge: Can we solve current industrial bottlenecks associated with biologically based manufacturing and develop new bioprocess engineering methodologies to translate scientific developments into new products and processes? 

 Strategic Goal: Design and develop the tools, technologies and materials required to support the biologically based manufacturing of the future. 

 Click on title to learn more.
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