Genentech: Cell Fermentation
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A challenge to grow E. coli and express a Lucentis-like protein of interest in the laboratories of the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno is presented by Genentech. A potential model to achieve this goal is created involving a bioreactor hosted in the unit operations lab. Sterile technique is studied, equipment ordered, and a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement on use of Biological Agents and Recombinant DNA is completed in accordance with this goal. In order to not waste the final reserves of Lucentis-like proteins, an alternative protein, IDOLDH, is used to develop the process. IDOLDH is a protein studied by a faculty member of the University of Nevada, Dr. Tittiger, for commercial use in his start-up company, EscaZyme. Utilizing this protein, standard operating procedures are designed and experiments are conducted to legitimize the use of a bioreactor. These results are then modeled in an effort to develop relevant equations. Potential scale up from lab models to large scale industry is theorized. Economic viability of the process is determined. Lessons learned during this project are utilized in the prospective start up competition, "Governor's Cup." Utilizing basic concepts implemented throughout multiple design projects, a business plan tackling renewable energy sources in the form of graphite is explored. Key design points are developed, determining the viability of such a venture.