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Seminar - Andrew Zydney

Purification of DNA for Gene Therapy and Vaccines – New Opportunities for Membrane Technology
Thursday, April 6, 2017, 11:30 am
130 Koffolt Laboratories, CBEC
151 W. Woodruff Ave
Columbus, OH 43210

Andrew L. Zydney

Distinguished Professor

Chemical Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

Purification of DNA for Gene Therapy and Vaccines – New Opportunities for Membrane Technology



There is growing interest in using DNA for gene therapy and DNA-based vaccines.  Existing methods for DNA purification are inadequate for large-scale commercial production.  This talk examines the possibility of using membrane ultrafiltration for the purification of supercoiled plasmid DNA.  DNA transmission during ultrafiltration is a strong function of filtrate flux due to flow-induced elongation of the plasmid associated with the converging flow into the membrane pores.  Transmission of the open circular DNA was significantly less than that of the supercoiled plasmid, while transmission of the linear DNA was considerably enhanced due to differences in 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.  The 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.  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 membrane science and technology, with a particular emphasis on bioseparations and the purification of high value biological products.  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 recent recipient of 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 was a member of the Board of Directors for 9 years.  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 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.