Jerry Heng Keynote

Seeding and Continuous Protein Crystallisation for Bioseparation


Huaiyu YANG and Jerry Y. Y. HENG*


1 Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, Jonathan Haigh. *Email:


It is well known that nucleation is a conception stage and governs the entire crystallisation process. In this work, the influence of porosity interfaces on heterogeneous nucleation and crystallisation of macromolecules, the influence of shear rate distributions on nucleation behaviors in continuous crystallisation crystallisers has been investigated.

A Template Induced Polymorphic Occurrence Domain (TiPOD) concept on the nucleation of different polymorphic forms for small organic molecules is consistence with the experimental results, proving the role of porosity on the nucleation and crystallisation of macromolecules. The influence of seeding on the induction times for a batch crystallisation process and influence of seeding for bioseparation have been tested. An approach to detect surface heterogeneous nucleation based on Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) will also be discussed. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations show increases in the amplitudes and frequencies accelerate the velocity of the oscillatory flows of the solution in the crystalliser, and correspondingly enhance the shear rate. The induction time of same system in oscillatory flow crystalliser (OFC) with equal driving force increases with increasing amplitude and frequency, then increases with a further increase of the frequency and amplitude, due to the complex influence of shear rate on kinetics of nucleation.

The work here demonstrates the importance of surface chemistry and surface porosity on heterogeneous nucleation and crystallisation and the importance of shear rate on the nucleation. Both template crystallisation and continuous crystallisation are developing fast and a potential more efficient and automatic method for manufacturing and purifying. By knowing the influence of porosity surface and kinetics on nucleation, we can control the crystallisation process.  Further, we demonstrate the potential of a continuous protein crystallisation platform for downstream separation.




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