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Bioprocess Technology

Enzymes, antibodies, gene therapies: All these molecules are based on highly complex processes that make their production extremely difficult and costly. The focus of the Bioprocess Technology Laboratory of the PTC is to develop and optimize such processes.

The scope ranges from process development, piloting to automation. Important steps of the production are thoroughly analyzed and scientifically assessed in detail. Advanced process controls in upstream and downstream processing are used to increase the automation level and to optimize or even redesign processes. This helps research groups that want to produce proteins to solve specific scientific problems as well as companies that want to bring a biomolecule to market. In this way, it is possible to determine how to run a process in order to achieve a desired yield and quality. Digitization and detailed data analyses play a crucial role in this workflow.

Cell lines and media are optimized in small scale systems and production is carried out in bioreactors which are operated in batch, fed-batch or continuous mode. The cultivation of microorganisms or mammalian cells can be followed in the bioreactors using numerous online probes. The produced biomolecules are consequently purified by several chromatographic and filtration steps (cell harvest clarification, TFF, UF/DF) and characterized with state-of-the-art analytical methods.

Students learn all steps and techniques of upstream and downstream processing up to the final formulation during their studies. Practical knowledge will be gained during various lab courses in cultivation and purification techniques, sensor analysis as well as analytics. This knowledge can be further deepened during semester, bachelor or master theses.

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Infrastructure

  • Microbial cultivation systems in small and pilot scale (Shakeflasks, 5 L, 20 L and 100 L bioreactors)
  • Fed-batch and continuous bioreactors for mammalian cell cultures (96 DPW, Shake flasks, 3 L and 10 L bioreactors)
  • Alternating Tangential Filtration (ATF) and Tangential Flow Filtration (TFF) for continuous upstream processes
  • Inline/Online sensors (Raman sensors, capacitive sensors etc.)
  • Modern offline analysis (HPLC, BioProfile Flex2, Agilent Bioanalyzer etc.)
  • Online process control system for all bioreactors (Infors Eve)
  • Ultrafiltration/Diafiltration (UF/DF) and TFF systems (Äkta Flux, Pall Centramate)
  • Preparative chromatography (Äkta Avant)
  • Continuous Chromatography (Chromacon Cube)
  • Pilot scale chromatography systems (Äkta Pilot, Merck K-Prime 40-III)

FHNW School of Life Sciences

FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland School of Life Sciences Hofackerstrasse 30 CH - 4132 Muttenz
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