Bioengineering at the micro-scale: Enhanced mixing on small scales and cultivation in microfluidic screening bioreactors


The rapid progress in molecular biotechnology and microtechnology, including the development of automated cultivation platforms, allows microbioprocess engineering to develop reliable methods and microbioreactors (MBR) for high-throughput processing (HTP) and improve these systems for daily laboratory use. The challenge is to develop HTP systems that allow for control of the dynamic interactions of complex biological systems and their defined microenvironment with simultaneous control of the mass transfer processes in multiphase cultivation systems.

During screening for new biotechnological processes or applications a large number of small-scale experiments are required to identify the most suitable candidates. When scaling-up a process via lab to pilot to production scale, many time-consuming and expensive experiments are necessary to determine those conditions that yield the best process performance. This project aims at further promoting the use of MBRs for more efficient screening and scale-up of biocatalytic processes.

  • Design of suitable MBR systems
  • Mass transfer and hydrodynamic characterization
  • Sensor integration
  • Application with different whole cell systems
  • MBR for enzymatic reactions

The European consortium EUROMBR - European network for innovative MBR applications in bioprocess development is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) supported PhD students and post-doctoral fellows across nine European countries: DTU as the coordinator of the project (Krist Gearney and Ulrich Krühne), Technische Universität Braunschweig (ibvt, Rainer Krull), University College London (Nicolas Szita), Technical University of Graz (Torsten Mayr and Bernd Nidetzky), University of Ljubljana (Polona Žnidaršič-Plazl and Igor Plazl), University of Oulu (Adama Sesay) and University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro (Gerardo Perozziello ). As companies Microfluidic Chip Shop GmbH (Jena, Germany), Micronit GmbH (Dortmund, Germany), Micronit Microfluidics BV (Enschede, The Netherlands) and Nanomateriales y Polimeros SL (Granada, Spain) are engaged in the EUROMBR-consortium.

0. Peterat G, Lladó Maldonado S, Edlich A, Rasch D, Dietzel A, Krull R (2015)
Bioreaktionstechnik in mikrofluidischen Reaktoren.

Chem-Ing.-Tech. 87:505-517. DOI: 10.1002/cite.201400176

0. Krull R, Lladó Maldonado S, Lorenz T, Demming S, Büttgenbach S (2016)

In: Microsystems for Pharmatechnology. Manipulation of fluids, particles, droplets, and cells. Dietzel, A. (ed.)), Chapter 4, 99 – 152, Series Microsystems and Nanosystems, Springer Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg 2016.