Alba Beas-Catena

Alba Beas-Catena

Department of Engineering
University of Almeria

Title: Influence of medium recycling on the cell growth and baculovirus production of the Se301 insect cell line


A. Beas-Catena completed her degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Almeria (Almeria, Spain) and at Wageningen University (Wageningen, The Netherlands), where she did her Master Thesis in the Subdepartment of Environmental Technology. Currently, she is a PhD student in the field of Biotechnology and Industrial Bioprocesses at the University of Almeria. As part of her research, she has published 3 papers in reputed journals


The use of chemical pesticides has been banned in the EU and, therefore, new biological agents are needed for pest control. In the case of greenhouse pests, highly-specific, safe to non-target-organisms baculoviruses are being used as pest control agents. Nowadays, baculoviruses are produced in vivo, but the in vitro production is an attractive alternative. However, the medium represents one of the main costs of the in vitro production of baculoviruses at large scale. To reduce costs, the recycling of partially spent medium (SM) has been proposed. Although the medium might be largely exhausted, most of the essential nutrients are not depleted. Moreover, the use of partially SM is advisable due to the carry-over of growth enhancing factors and other compounds that improve cell growth. In this work, the growth and baculovirus production of the Se301 cell line have been shown not to be largely affected up to a 50% serum-free SM. In fact, a 10% increase in maximum cell density (Xvm) was obtained when using a maximum of 20% SM compared to the 100% fresh medium (used as control). From 30 to 50% SM, Xvm values were slightly lower than those of the control. Regarding apparent growth rates (µ) and occlusion body (OB) yields, higher values than the ones of the control were obtained when using a maximum of a 50% SM in each case. As with Xvm values, the highest increase, with respect to the controls, in µ (24%) and OB yields (90%) were also observed at a 20% SM.