Become a member of BioTechniques (it's free!) and receive the latest news in the life sciences, member-exclusives and 10% off BioTechniques article processing fees

Talking Techniques | Producing challenging proteins in the golden age of protein engineering

In this episode, we roam the world of recombinant proteins and their production, discussing the challenges of their production and recent evolutions in protein engineering that have brought the field into a golden era of innovation.

I’m joined by recombinant protein engineering expert Yuning Chen, R&D Manager at Sino Biological Inc. (Beijing, China) who discusses the key applications of these proteins, the aspects of certain products that make them difficult to produce and how these difficulties can be overcome. Yuning also reveals how the manipulation of antibodies has been essential to multiple aspects of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After a review of the recent evolutions in protein engineering, from cell-free systems to automation, Yuning describes his vision for the future of the field and reveals his support for the “Terminator-style” uprising of AI and advanced automation techniques that he believes could revolutionize it.


  • The production of recombinant proteins: 01:38-03:12
  • Key applications: 03:12-04:28
  • What makes some proteins difficult to produce? 04:28-05:42
  • Overcoming these challenges: 05:42-06:40
  • Manipulating antibodies to take part in multiple aspects of pandemic response: 06:40-09:02
  • The most exciting applications of engineered proteins: 09:02-10:50
  • Developments in high throughput and automated protein engineering: 10:50-11:55
  • Cell-free protein engineering: 11:55-13:38
  • The benefits of cell-free systems: 13:38-14:40
  • What is next for recombinant protein production? 14:40-17:20
  • The dream of automation for the recombinant protein production: 17:20-19:32

This content was supported by Sino Biological