JAMES HOLMES / CELLTECH LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES HOLMES / CELLTECH LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A large-scale (2000 litre) fermenter used in the commercial production of monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies promise great potential for both the diagnosis & treatment of disease. The parent cell is obtained by the fusion of a normal antibody-producing cell (a lymphocyte) with a rapidly-multiplying tumour cell. The resulting hybridoma cell is then multiplied in the fermentor to produce large numbers of genetically identical copies, each secreting the antibody produced by the original lymphocyte. In this way large quantities of given antibodies can be produced for use as vaccines & in tests for specific antigens.
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