It’s already been a year since the acib science blog was officially launched. Birthdays are a good time to reflect, and the last year have given us much to reflect on! When the acib blog was still in its infancy, Katrin Weinhandl, former chief editor and one of the initiators of this project, played a decisive role by setting up a well thought-through editorial plan to transform scientific content into understandable posts. After she left the company, she introduced us (Olivia Laggner and Sabrina Mayer-Maschl) to become the new chief editors.
Most of the active components in drugs either are compounds obtained by chemical synthesis or biomolecules produced by microorganisms (often proteins), which are then called biopharmaceuticals. When we talk about biomolecule production it can be separated into two sections: the up- and downstream-process. The main focus of an upstream-process lies on the preparation of the host cells and their fermentation. After a successful production the target protein needs to be separated from impurities. Protein purification – the downstream process – is an important procedure used to produce biomolecules in a highly pure form for the use in human healthcare.
Co-author: Verena Beck
While for scaling up a production process the main goal is to keep the quality and quantity of a product stable, scaling-down is often used for troubleshooting and testing unit operations. At the microscale various process parameters such as temperatures, buffer additives or mixing conditions can be tested much faster and with lower material consumption compared to large scale. Researchers of acib investigated the most crucial parameters affecting the mixing behaviour at the microscale and how mixing of fluids in small scale can be compared to large vessels.