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  1. Abstract

    The pharmaceutical industry employs various strategies to improve cell productivity. These strategies include process intensification, culture media improvement, clonal selection, media supplementation and genetic engineering of cells. However, improved cell productivity has inherent risk of impacting product quality attributes (PQA). PQAs may affect the products’ efficacy via stability, bioavailability, or in vivo bioactivity. Variations in manufacturing process may introduce heterogeneity in the products by altering the type and extent of N-glycosylation, which is a PQA of therapeutic proteins. We investigated the effect of different cell densities representing increasing process intensification in a perfusion cell culture on the production of an IgG1-κ monoclonal antibody from a CHO-K1 cell line. This antibody is glycosylated both on light chain and heavy chain. Our results showed that the contents of glycosylation of IgG1-κ mAb increased in G0F and fucosylated type glycans as a group, whereas sialylated type glycans decreased, for the mAb whole protein. Overall, significant differences were observed in amounts of G0F, G1F, G0, G2FS1, and G2FS2 type glycans across all process intensification levels. G2FS2 and G2 type N-glycans were predominantly quantifiable from light chain rather than heavy chain. It may be concluded that there is a potential impact to product quality attributes of therapeutic proteins during process intensification via perfusion cell culture that needs to be assessed. Since during perfusion cell culture the product is collected throughout the duration of the process, lot allocation needs careful attention to process parameters, as PQAs are affected by the critical process parameters (CPPs).

    Key points

    • Molecular integrity may suffer with increasing process intensity.

    • Galactosylated and sialylated N-glycans may decrease.

    • Perfusion culture appears to maintain protein charge structure.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2025
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  4. Yongjin J. Zhou (Ed.)
    Abstract

    A new biomanufacturing platform combining intracellular metabolic engineering of the oleaginous yeastYarrowia lipolyticaand extracellular bioreaction engineering provides efficient bioconversion of plant oils/animal fats into high‐value products. However, predicting the hydrodynamics and mass transfer parameters is difficult due to the high agitation and sparging required to create dispersed oil droplets in an aqueous medium for efficient yeast fermentation. In the current study, commercial computational fluid dynamic (CFD) solver Ansys CFX coupled with the MUSIG model first predicts two‐phase system (oil/water and air/water) mixing dynamics and their particle size distributions. Then, a three‐phase model (oil, air, and water) utilizing dispersed air bubbles and a polydispersed oil phase was implemented to explore fermenter mixing, gas dispersion efficiency, and volumetric mass transfer coefficient estimations (kLa). The study analyzed the effect of the impeller type, agitation speed, and power input on the tank's flow field and revealed that upward‐pumping pitched blade impellers (PBI) in the top two positions (compared to Rushton‐type) provided advantageous oil phase homogeneity and similar estimatedkLavalues with reduced power. These results show good agreement with the experimental mixing andkLadata.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
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  7. Abstract

    A majority of the biotherapeutics industry today relies on the manufacturing of monoclonal antibodies from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, yet challenges remain with maintaining consistent product quality from high‐producing cell lines. Previous studies report the impact of individual trace metal supplemental on CHO cells, and thus, the combinatorial effects of these metals could be leveraged to improve bioprocesses further. A three‐level factorial experimental design was performed in fed‐batch shake flasks to evaluate the impact of time wise addition of individual or combined trace metals (zinc and copper) on CHO cell culture performance. Correlations among each factor (experimental parameters) and response variables (changes in cell culture performance) were examined based on their significance and goodness of fit to a partial least square's regression model. The model indicated that zinc concentration and time of addition counter‐influence peak viable cell density and antibody production. Meanwhile, early copper supplementation influenced late‐stage ROS activity in a dose‐dependent manner likely by alleviating cellular oxidative stress. Regression coefficients indicated that combined metal addition had less significant impact on titer and specific productivity compared to zinc addition alone, although titer increased the most under combined metal addition. Glycan analysis showed that combined metal addition reduced galactosylation to a greater extent than single metals when supplemented during the early growth phase. A validation experiment was performed to confirm the validity of the regression model by testing an optimized setpoint of metal supplement time and concentration to improve protein productivity.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  8. Abstract

    Gene therapy is a promising therapeutic approach for genetic and acquired diseases nowadays. Among DNA delivery vectors, recombinant adeno‐associated virus (rAAV) is one of the most effective and safest vectors used in commercial drugs and clinical trials. However, the current yield of rAAV biomanufacturing lags behind the necessary dosages for clinical and commercial use, which embodies a concentrated reflection of low productivity of rAAV from host cells, difficult scalability of the rAAV‐producing bioprocess, and high levels of impurities materialized during production. Those issues directly impact the price of gene therapy medicine in the market, limiting most patients’ access to gene therapy. In this context, the current practices and several critical challenges associated with rAAV gene therapy bioprocesses are reviewed, followed by a discussion of recent advances in rAAV‐mediated gene therapy and other therapeutic biological fields that could improve biomanufacturing if these advances are integrated effectively into the current systems. This review aims to provide the current state‐of‐the‐art technology and perspectives to enhance the productivity of rAAV while reducing impurities during production of rAAV.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024