Cost analysis based on bioreactor cultivation conditions: production of a soluble recombinant protein using Escherichia coli BL21(DE3)

The impact of cultivation strategy on the cost of recombinant protein production is crucial for defining cost-effective bioreactor operation conditions. This paper presents a methodology to estimate and compare cost impacts related to utilities as well as medium composition, using simple design equations and accessible data. Data from batch bioreactor cultures were used as case study involving the production of pneumococcal surface protein A, a soluble recombinant protein, employing E. coli BL21(DE3). Cultivation strategies and corresponding process costs covered a wide range of operational conditions, including different media, inducers, and temperatures. The core expenses were related to the medium and cooling. When the price of peptone was above the threshold value of US$ 30/kg, defined medium became the best choice. IPTG and temperatures around 32°C led to shorter cultures and lower PspA4Pro production costs. The procedure offers a simple, accessible theoretical tool to identify cost-effective production strategies using bioreactors.
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Batch culture;  Energy consumption;  Process economic analysis;  Stirred-Tank reactor;  Bioprocess engineering

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Cardoso VM., Campani G, Santos MP., Silva GG., Pires MC, Gonçalves VM, et al. Cost analysis based on bioreactor cultivation conditions: production of a soluble recombinant protein using Escherichia coli BL21(DE3). Biotechnol. Rep.. 2020 Jun;26:e00441. doi:10.1016/j.btre.2020.e00441.
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