Based on experiments in bench scale, a recycling of spent cell culture medium was performed in a 100-l pilot scale bioreactor. The cell cultivation has been done as a repeated batch procedure after the initial batch in the following four repeated batches spent medium from the previous batch was partially re-used. After microfiltration and ultrafiltration a part of the filtrate was mixed with a concentrate of amino acids and glucose, sterile filtered and subsequently filled back into the bioreactor. Up to 65% of the harvested cell- and product-free spent medium was re-used in each repeated batch. This procedure results in a saving of pure and waste water volume and saving of supplemented proteins as transferrin, insulin and lipoproteins and, therefore, also in a reduction of the production costs. A strongly acidic membrane ion exchanger was evaluated for the ability to purify the monoclonal antibodies from the pilot scale cultivation. Within minutes, gram quantities of product could be purified in a high flux system, especially developed for this purpose, achieving purities of 80%. The capacity of the acidic membrane ion exchanger was found in former investigations to be 1 mg cm -2 with recoveries up to 96%. Final purification was carried out by gel column filtration.
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