Baculovirus transit through insect cell membranes: A mechanistic approach

Youhong Zhang, Giora Enden, Wei Wei, Feng Zhou, Jie Chen, Jose C. Merchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Baculovirus systems are used for various purposes, but the kinetics of the infection process is not fully understood yet. We investigated the dynamics of virion movement from a medium toward the interior of insect cells and established a mechanistic model that shows an excellent fit to experimental results. It also makes possible a description of the viral dynamics on the cell surface. A novel measurement method was used to distinguish between infected cells that carry virions on their surfaces, cells that carry virions in their interior, and those carrying virions both inside and on their surface. The maximum number of virions carried by a cell: 55 viruses/cell, and the time required for viral internalization, 0.8h, are reported. This information is particularly useful for assessing the infection efficacy and the required number of virions needed to infect a given cell population. Although our model specifically concerns the infection process of Sf9 insect cells by baculovirus, it describes general features of viral infection. Some of the model features may eventually be applicable in the studies towards palliation of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115727
JournalChemical Engineering Science
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2020


  • Baculovirus
  • Infection Simulation
  • Infection kinetics
  • Mathematical model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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