Research
Main research areas

Research Areas at the Institute of Technical Chemistry

At the Institute of Technicaly Chemistry we are carrying out biotechnological research in many areas. This covers mammalian cell culture as well as tissue engineering, microbial cell culture and the cultivation of microalgae. Furthermore we are focusing on downstream processing and on the biotechnological characterisation of the targeted products, as well as developing and employing multiple sensoric means for monitoring and controling the bioprocesses. Another focus is on microsystem engineering to downscale processes to a miniature size and on additive manufacturing of lab technologies. Further research is dedicated to photo catalysis, medical biotechnology, digitalisation of lab infrastructure and bioinformatics.

Bioengineering

The Bioengineering group is subdivided into several subgroups which are each focusing on specific research topics under the supervision of Prof. Scheper. This spans from mammalian and human cell culture in up- and dowstream processing across sensor development to chip technologies and biotesting. Furthermore, topics such as microalgae cultivations or development of materials for modern biomedical applications are covered. In the field of bioinformatics, aspects of data processing are covered from statistical experimental design to image and data analysis.
The bioengineering group is structured as follows:

Biomedical technology and regenerative medicine

The Blume research group works at the Lower Saxony Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Implant Research and Development (NIFE). The group works on biotesting of materials and substances for the use in intelligent implants. In the area of biomedical technology the focus lies on the development of technical prerequisites for tissue engineering. Important aspects for successful tissue generation are choice, conditioning and control of suitable bioreactors. In the field of regenerative medicine the team is working to gain knowledge about cell-biological fundamentals for differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells from different resources like fat tissue or bone marrow.

Bioprocess engineering

The research focus of the bioprocess engineering group comprises microbial cell cultures in up- and downstream, sensor development and application for monitoring and process control as well as all relevant analytics. Aside this the Beutel group is also carrying out research on digitalisation of lab infrastructure, e.g. for bidirectional device communication or on interaction means for the operator with the system.

Microbial protein production

We are working on process engineering and cell physilogical aspects of recombinant protein production. Part of this is the development of simple but highly productive cultivation processes and the isolation and purification of recombinant proteins. As hosts we employ mostly Escherichia coli and Pichia pastoris to facilitate the production of complex multimer proteins, e.g. growth factors or protein-based vaccines. Furthermore we are conducting research on cell physiological aspects of the recombinant microorganisms, to understand the impacts of how xenogenic protein production is disturbing the cell well-being. Based on these results we are optimising processes and cells regarding productivity and product quality.

Photo catalysis and nano technology

Reactor and Reaction Engineering for the (Solar) Photocatalytic Treatment of polluted Air and Water. Mechanistic Investigations regarding the Oxidation and Reduction Processes in Photocatalytic and Photoelectrochemical Systems. Development of new and improved Photocatalysts for Solar Fuel Synthesis. Employing Carbon Dioxide and Water as sources for Storable Fuels.

Cell culture and microsystem technology

The research group on cell culture and microsystem technology works on the production and integration of 3D-printed microfluidic systems and the development of innovative biosensors for the application in cell culture processes as well as point-of-care diagnostics. The young academics research group of Dr. Janina Bahnemann is funded by the Emmy-Noether-program and develops microsystems by high-resolution additive manufacturing, which are employed in cell culture processes. A strong focus lies on the development of aptamer-based biosensors for monitoring, another on manufacturing and integration of lab-on-a-chip systems, which enable a continuous transient gen transfer in the host cells for the flexible production of recombinant proteins.