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The Department of Biomedicine

BBB seminar: Nicole Borth

Use of flow cytometric cell sorting to obtain complex functional properties in biopharmaceutical production cell lines

Nicole Borth
Department of Biotechnology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria


Flow cytometry and fluorescence activated cell sorting have been successfully used for cell line development, establishing techniques for the optimisation of transfection protocols using fluorescent proteins and for isolation of transfected cells or cells with high production rates. Cell sorting has helped in speeding up cell line development by isolating the cells with desirable properties, thus eliminating all the work connected with testing and discarding the majority of clones, which do not meet expectations. Although of major importance, high production rates are not the only demand made on a production cell line. Other cellular properties such as growth rate, high cell density, resistance to apoptosis or an efficient glycolytic metabolism are also of interest in a large-scale production setting. This talk will give an overview over currently used techniques for clone analysis and discuss cell sorting as a powerful method to optimise cellular performance in biopharmaceutical production systems.

Host: Beate Stern, Department of Biomedicine

Nicole Borth

Nicole Borth, Professor of Cytometry and Cell Biology at the Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Austria, and her group focus their work on the development of flow cytometric methods for applications in biotechnology with the final objective of isolating cell lines with improved properties, comprising mammalian cells, bacteria and yeast. Methods include both analytical approaches that allow the characterisation of clones and an informed decision on their rejection or expansion and sorting approaches for the improvement of clones with respect to high production rate and cellular performance. In combination with other parameters such as varying culture conditions or metabolic rates, these methods are used to screen for cells that are ideally suited to perform well under predefined culture conditions or process designs. As becomes evident from her recent review (Microb Cell Fact. 2006, 5:12), Nicole Borth has made a considerable contribution to the in-depth understanding we have to date of cell behaviour.