Virus filtration is a robust size-based technique that can provide the high level of viral clearance required for the production of mammalian-derived biotherapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies. Several studies have shown that the retention characteristics of some, but not all, virus filters can be significantly affected by membrane fouling, but there have been no direct measurements of how protein fouling might alter the location of virus capture within these membranes. The objective of this study was to directly examine the effect of protein fouling by human immunoglobulin G (IgG) on virus capture within the Viresolve® Pro and Viresolve® NFP membranes by scanning electron microscopy using different size gold nanoparticles. IgG fouling shifted the capture location of 20 nm gold nanoparticles further upstream within the Viresolve® Pro filter due to the constriction and/or blockage of the pores in the virus retentive region of the filter. In contrast, IgG fouling had no measurable effect on the capture of 20 nm nanoparticles in the Viresolve® NFP membrane, and IgG fouling had no effect on the capture of larger 40 and 100 nm nanoparticles in either membrane. These results provide important insights into how protein fouling alters the virus retention characteristics of different virus filters.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology