Fraunhofer USA, Inc. Center for Molecular Biotechnology (FhCMB) has pioneered a transient plant-based biopharmaceutical platform to produce vaccines and therapeutics quickly and cost-effectively. Using this platform, plants are grown hydroponically in a controlled environment. The plants are vacuum infiltrated with a recombinant Agrobacteria carrying a plant viral–based hybrid vector and returned to a controlled environment for the target protein to be produced in infiltrated plant tissue.
When target protein levels peak in leaf tissue, the plants are harvested and homogenized, extract is clarified and the target protein is purified. There are multiple opportunities in this system for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to be applied to optimize biomass accumulation and the production of target proteins. There is potential to develop specific photo-recipes to optimize plant growth and target protein production.