What is upstream processing (USP)?

The upstream part of a bioprocess refers to the initial stage in which microbes/cells are grown, e.g. bacterial or mammalian cell lines in bioreactors. Upstream processing involves all the steps related with inoculum development: Media Preparation, Cell Culture and Cell Separation & Harvest. When the cells have reached the desired density, they are harvested and moved to the downstream section of the bioprocess.

Upstream processing is usually divided into the following stages:




What is downstream processing (DSP)?

Downstream processing is the part of a bioprocess where the cell mass from the upstream is processed to meet purity and quality requirements. The isolation and purification of a biotechnological product to a form suitable for its intended use, is termed DSP. Typically, this means recovery of a product from an aqueous solution. The products of biotechnology include whole cells, organic acids, amino acids, solvents, antibiotics, industrial enzymes, therapeutic proteins, vaccines etc. As these products vary greatly in size and nature, different separation principles are required for their recovery and purification.

Downstream processing is usually divided into the following stages, including buffer preparation: