Downstream processing of biotechnology products

Biotechnology products are developed from using living systems and organisms or technological application that uses biological systems or living organisms which are used in of downstream processing.

Biological products play a big role in biotransformation, diagnostics research and development, pharmaceutical and in manufacturing of cosmetic products.

Biological products can also be improvised and used as crude extracts with no purification.

In biopharmaceutical exceptional purity is required hence making downstream processing a major component in the overall process.

Proteins are known to be the most important component in biopharmaceuticals in current errors. Unlike early in history where all toxins extracted from living sources such as animals were among the component of biopharmaceuticals and purification was done through chromatography, filtration and precipitation.


In present days recombinant DNA technology is used to exclusively produce biopharmaceutical, where purification is done through the combination of membrane, filtration and chromatography.

In high value product chromatography techniques are important for purification or isolation of modern biotechnology.

A number of chromatographic steps are involved in downstream processing of therapeutic proteins.

There are various modes of chromatography used in separation of liquid and solid in biotechnological industries.

Chromatographic methods are also relevant in development and research in analyzing purification of proteins.

Even though proteins are the co-factor component of biopharmaceuticals, there are other non-protein biomolecules which include viruses, plasmids and complex polysaccharides are being developed in current days.


Proteins used in biopharmaceutical products are structured in to four different levels including:

  • Primary structure; it is determined by amino-acid sequence
  • Secondary structure; it is determined by folding of the polypeptide chain
  • Tertiary structure; it includes associated of a few secondary structure domains
  • Quaternary; it is the association of a few numbers of folded polypeptide chains.

This content explains the general structure of downstream processing in biotechnology products for example pharmaceutical and manufacturing of cosmetics products.

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