90913 - Downstream Processes of Biological Molecules

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Cristiana Boi

  • Credits 3

  • SSD ING-IND/24

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (cod. 9068)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Oct 05, 2022 to Dec 13, 2022

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student acquires basic knowledge on the methodologies and technologies of the biotechnological process industry, for the recovery and purification of biotechnological pharmaceuticals, taking into account the route of administration and final formulation of the final product.

Course contents

Cell lysis: osmotic, chemical and mechanical methods. Sedimentation: equation of motion, equilibrium sedimentation. Centrifugation: description and use of different centrifuges. Sigma analysis. Protein precipitation: protein solubility (salting in and salting out), precipitate formation phenomena, design of precipitation systems. Filtration: conventional and cross flow filtration. Filter media and equipment. Membrane separation processes: classification based on the driving force, description and use of different membrane processes in biotechnology. Membrane modules: plate and frame, hollow fiber, tubular. Concentration polarization: film theory model. Microfiltration, ultrafiltration and diafiltration. Membrane fouling. Sterile filtration and filtration for virus removal. Liquid/liquid extraction: extraction with solvent, extraction in aqueous phase. Stage calculation. Adsorption: fundamental principles, equilibrium isotherms. Chromatography: process description, chromatographic techniques. Chromatography column dynamics: plate theory, column efficiency, Van Deemter equation, theory of adsorption chromatography.


R.G. Harrison, P. Todd, S. Rudge and D. Petrides, Bioseparations Science and Engineering, 2nd Ed. Oxford U. Press, NY, 2015.

P.M. Doran, Bioprocess Engineering Principles, 2nd Ed., Elsevier, 2013.

C. Gostoli, Trasporto di materia con elementi di reattoristica chimica e biochimica, Pitagora Editrice, Bologna, 2011.

Teaching methods

Class lectures and problem solving.

Assessment methods

The aim of the final examination (one for the whole course) is to evaluate the achievement of the main goals of the course, specifically:

- the capability to adopt suitable analysis and calculation techniques, which are presented during the course, in order to understand the working principles of the equipment and the basis design rules, in addition to the understanding of the chemical and physical phenomena occurring in equipment and processes of the chemical industry;

- the capability to use the outcomes obtained by the above analysis to improve the performances of equipment and processes of the chemical industry.

The final assessment will be via a written exam and an oral part. The written assessment is a quiz with simple exercises or theoretical questions on the course topics. The score is given in thirtieths. The goal of the oral part is to ascertain the full understanding of both the basic principles and the design rules of equipment and processes considered during the course. The score of the oral part is given in thirtieths. The global score takes into account the results obtained both in the written and in the oral assessments.

Teaching tools

A combination of blackboard and slide projector according to the lecture topic.

Power point presentations that will be made available on Virtuale with access to University of Bologna students.

Office hours

See the website of Cristiana Boi