There is growing interest in using plasmid DNA for gene therapy applications and for the development of DNA - based vaccines against viruses like Zika and flu. However, existing methods for DNA purification are inadequate for large - scale commercial production of these ground - breaking biotherapeutics. This talk examines the possibility of using membrane ultrafiltration for the purification of supercoiled plasmid DNA. DNA transmission during ultrafiltration occurs by the flow - induced elongation of the plasmid associated with the converging flow field into the membrane pores. This enables the effective separation of different topological isoforms of DNA based on differences in their conformational flexibility. New opportunities for enhancing DNA purification were identified using backpulsing to reduce fouling and using novel membranes with controlled pore morphology to pre - stretch the DNA in the elongation flow, thereby minimizing DNA trapping at the pore entrance. These results clearly demonstrate the potential of using membrane systems for commercial - scale purification of DNA.
Dr. Andrew L. Zydney is currently Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, having served as Head of that Department from 2004 - 2014. Dr. Zydney is also Director of the newly formed Center of Excellence in Industrial Biotechnology at Penn State and the Bayard D. Kunkle Chair in Engineering. Professor Zydney received his B. S. in Chemical Engineering from Yale in 1980 and his Ph. D. from M. I. T. in 1985. He was a faculty member in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Delaware from 1985 - 2001.
Professor Zydney's research is focused on bioprocessing and membrane technology, with a particular emphasis on the use of membrane systems for the purification of biotherapeutics and the development of artificial organs. He has published more than 200 articles on these topics, including invited contributions to the Encyclopedia of Bioprocess Technology and the Handbook of Biomedical Engineering. He is the most recipient of the Gerhold Award for Outstanding contributions to Separation Science and Technology given by the AIChE, and he previously received the Excellence in Biological Engineering Publications Award from the AIChE. Professor Zydney is the Editor - in - Chief of the Journal of Membrane Science, and he serves on the Editorial Boards for Separation and Purification Reviews , Separation Science and Technology, Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, and Biotechnology and Bioengineering. He served as President of the North American Membrane Society in 2002 - 2003 , and is currently a member of the Board of Directors. He was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Zydney has received Excellence in Teaching Awards from both the University of Delaware and the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society, and he is a past recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award and the Outstanding Young Faculty Award from the American Society of Engineering Education.