Category: Automation and High-Throughput Technologies

1162-C - Development of the Flask Density Reader for the Protein Expression and Purification Platform

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The Protein Expression and Purification Platform (PEPP), built by GNF Systems, has supported automated transient protein production from HEK293 cells grown in AutoFlasks™ for many years. More recently, PEPP has transitioned to supporting other workflows including Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) stable pools and production from hybridoma cells.  These workflows require frequent monitoring of cell growth to determine when cells are at the desired density for cryo-archiving and protein production. Removing samples from AutoFlasks™ to determine cell density carries the risk of contamination, removes precious sample, is time consuming, and requires a device outside of PEPP that has relatively low reliability and low throughput to read the samples.  To address these issues we created the Flask Density Reader (FDR), which enables a noninvasive, fast, and accurate determination of the density of different types of cells grown in different types of media in AutoFlasks™. The FDR measures the turbidity inside of the AutoFlask™ using a thru-beam laser and correlates this measurement against a standard curve to determine total cell density. Because the FDR is integrated onto the PEPP system, cell density can be read at any time of the day without operator intervention. FDR reads are routinely scheduled early in the morning so when scientists arrive they have data to determine what actions to perform that day and beyond based on growth trends. By generating daily cell density measurements for hundreds of flasks across a variety of projects, the FDR has become a key component of the PEPP system and has greatly facilitated GNF's ability to generate large protein collections.

Jessica Miller

Automation Associate
San Diego, CA

Jessica has been working at Genomics Institue of the Novartis Research Foundation as the Protein Expression and Purification Platform system operator for a year and a half. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California San Diego in Biochemistry/Chemistry.