Viruses and virus-like particles in biotechnology: Fundamentals and applications
Kapitel i bok, 2019

Although viruses are simple biological systems, they are capable of evolving highly efficient techniques for infecting cells, expressing their genomes, and generating new copies of themselves. It is possible to genetically manipulate most of the different classes of known viruses in order to produce recombinant viruses that express foreign proteins. Recombinant viruses have been used in gene therapy to deliver selected genes into higher organisms, in vaccinology and immunotherapy, and as important research tools to study the structure and function of these proteins. Virus-like particles (VLPs) are multiprotein structures that mimic the organization and conformation of authentic native viruses but lack the viral genome. They have been applied not only as prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines but also as vehicles in drug and gene delivery and, more recently, as tools in nanobiotechnology. In this chapter, basic and advanced features of viruses and VLPs are presented and their major applications are discussed. The different production platforms based on animal cell technology are explained, and their main challenges and future perspectives are explored. The implications of large-scale production of viruses and VLPs are discussed in the context of process control, monitoring, and optimization. The main upstream and downstream technical challenges are identified and discussed accordingly.

Viral vectors


Process monitoring and control

Process parameters


Cell lines

Virus-like particles

Baculovirus/insect cell system

Drug delivery

Gene therapy


Antonio Roldao


Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Ana Carina Silva

Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Maria Candida Maia Mellado

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Paula M. Alves

Cell Bioprocesses Laboratory

Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Manuel J.T. Carrondo

Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Engineering Cellular Applications Laboratory

Comprehensive Biotechnology

9780444640475 (ISBN)


Medicinsk bioteknologi (med inriktning mot cellbiologi (inklusive stamcellsbiologi), molekylärbiologi, mikrobiologi, biokemi eller biofarmaci)

Bioinformatik och systembiologi




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