Bioprocess Development and Biomanufacturing

bio process chart

The ability to genetically engineer organisms unlocks an ever-increasing number of products that are and will be synthesized using fermentors and bioreactors. To address the need for the training and development of a workforce with the essential skills needed to efficiently produce a myriad of biological molecules, the BPDF offers a hands-on laboratory course as part of the Chemical Engineering Department’s academic concentration in biomanufacturing.

This lab course provides an undergraduate level introduction to molecular biology and biochemistry methods as they are applied in biomanufacturing. Students learn basic genetic techniques such as restriction digestion, ligation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and agarose gel electrophoresis of DNA. Shake flask cultures and fermentations provide insights into the characteristics of microbial growth (medium requirements, growth phases, antibiotic resistance) and into fermentation parameters that can be modified to optimize growth and recombinant protein production (aeration, temperature, feed rate, induction time, cultivation time).

Downstream processing includes a variety of methods used for clarification, purification and concentration of the target protein. Product analysis involves enzymatic assays to confirm function, and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, Western blotting, and other assays to assess product purity and yield. The overall goal of the course is to cover the biotechnological production process from gene to product to enable students to compete and excel in the biomanufacturing field.