It is almost a year since the Jülich research center announced it was taking delivery of the new and innovative MiBioLab. The Helmholtz Association sets up these innovation labs with the dual aim of encouraging practical applications for research results and integrating companies long-term into joint development projects. Dr. Holger Morschett from Jülich was on hand at LABVOLUTION 2017 in Hannover to explain to potential collaboration partners the kinds of innovative technologies these MiBioLabs provide for the development of production processes for micro-organisms.
In recent years, giant strides forward in the tools used in molecular biology for genetically modifying micro-organisms have enabled huge strain collections for a wide range of organisms to be amassed in a very short space of time. All the same, only a small fraction of the cataloged strains are suitable for developing industrial production processes, such as manufacturing chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and feed and food additives. For this reason, the researchers at Jülich are using their MiBioLab to focus on quick strain phenotyping, which is the quantitative analysis of micro-organisms’ structural and functional properties. They work together closely with industrial partners to perform fast phenotyping and develop targeted downstream bioprocesses for creating new approaches and procedures on a laboratory scale. They plan to focus primarily on automation and miniaturization.