Working Group Beutel - bioprocess engineering
The working group Beutel focuses its research on various aspects of bioprocess engineering, working on fundamental as well as applied science. The research comprises the development of complete bioprocesses from gene isolation via expression in bacterial hosts to production and downstream processing of produced biomolecules, mainly enzymes or otherwise bioactive compounds. The produced enzymes are used e.g. for the production of food components, aroma- and fragrance molecules as flavonoids and sesquiterpenes; these processes can be carried out either with isolated enzymes or with a whole-cell biocatalytical approach.
Furthermore the working group Beutel focuses in the downstream area on the development of new isolation and purification materials and methods to facilitate the downstreaming of the recombinantly produced enzymes on the one hand and the therewith produced bioproducts on the other hand. Important are also bioanalytical techniques to monitor the bioprocesses to characterize the products and prove quality and quantity. Therefore new bioanalytical methods and sensor devices are developed to enable fast and reliable process control, e.g. a new non-invasive OD-sensor for shake flask cultivations or fluorescence sensors for metabolite monitoring. Different projects are carried out in the area of reactor development and design, as reactors for protein crystallization, hollow fibre bioreactors or photo bioreactors for microalgae cultivations. Also components for bioprocessing as sensor adapters for disposable bioreactors or shake flask caps with feeding systems for pH-stat or fed-batch cultivations are developed. For the construction of such components new technologies as rapid prototyping are adapted.
The research projects are carried out mostly in close cooperation with industry partners.