In the area of bioprocess engineering various projects for the development of industrial production processes are carried out. Aside monitoring, control and optimization of cultivation processes with bacteria, fungi, microalgae and mammalian cell lines also enzymatic processes are developed. Several laboratories and a large technical area are S1-certified, so that recombinant microorganisms of this security level can be handled and processed. Currently processes for the production of antibiotics, enzymes, food ingredients, cytokines, antibodies and vaccines are under investigation. Bioreactors up to 50 l are available in classical stainless steel or in new configurations as disposable bioreactors or hollow fibre bioreactors.
Downstream processing is one of the most cost-driving factors in modern bioproduction. Thus, the development of new techniques and cost-effective alternative downstream materials is a major focus in this area. Filtration, extraction and conventional as well as membrane chromatography are available in the institute and can be adapted for processes up to technical scale of 1m3 process volume. The downstream techniques are investigated in regard to individual processes requirements and specific methods are developed, adapted and optimized. Furthermore new downstream technologies are developed in close cooperation with industrial partners, as e.g. novel membrane adsorption materials or HTS- (High Throughput Screening) techniques for fast screening of process parameters.
Bioanalytics is required to gain knowledge about biotechnological processes as well as to control and document them. Different analytical methods and sensors are under development, e.g. Chemo- and Biosensors. The major focus is the development of optical sensors as optical Chemosensors for pH, and DO, spectroscopic sensors for metabolites or OD based on UV/Vis, fluorescence, NIR and MIR and also microscopic systems (in-situ-Microscopy). The works comprise the tailor-made development of methods for online-, at line- and offline-measurement of relevant compounds and process variables, which are adapted specifically to the individual processes. Next to the field of process analytics all relevant analytical methods for the characterization and determination of biomolecules in regard to quantity, purity, activity of enzymes or bioactive peptides or else are available and established.