Rotavirus-like particles primary recovery from insect cells in aqueous two-phase systems
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Virus-like particles have a wide range of applications, including vaccination, gene therapy, and even as nanomaterials. Their successful utilization depends on the availability of selective and scalable methods of product recovery and purification that integrate effectively with upstream operations. In this work, a strategy based on aqueous two phase system (ATPS) was developed for the recovery of double-layered rotavirus-like particles (dlRLP) produced by the insect cell-baculovirus expression system. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) molecular mass, PEG and salt concentrations, and volume ratio (Vr, volume of top phase/volume of bottom phase) were evaluated in order to determine the conditions where dlRLP and contaminants concentrated to opposite phases. Two-stage ATPS consisting of PEG 400-phosphate with a Vr of 13.0 and a tie-line length (TLL) of 35% (w/w) at pH 7.0 provided the best conditions for processing highly concentrated crude extract from disrupted cells (dlRLP concentration of 5 ¿g/mL). In such conditions intracellular dlRLP accumulated in the top phase (recovery of 90%), whereas cell debris remained in the interface. Furthermore, dlRLP from culture supernatants accumulated preferentially in the interface (recovery of 82%) using ATPS with a Vr of 1.0, pH of 7.0, PEG 3350 (10.1%, w/w) and phosphate (10.9%, w/w). The purity of dlRLP from culture supernatant increased up to 55 times after ATPS. The use of ATPS resulted in a recovery process that produced dlRLP with a purity between 6 and 11% and an overall product yield of 85% (w/w), considering purification from intracellular and extracellular dlRLP. Overall, the strategy proposed in this study is simpler than traditional methods for recovering dlRLP, and represents a scalable and economically viable alternative for production processes of vaccines against rotavirus infection with significant scope for generic commercial application. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.