Researchers are obviously keen to see their breakthrough results and efforts in diverse scientific areas brought to a broader audience in industry and the marketplace. This is why the Technical University of Berlin (TUB) will, from 16 to 18 May, be presenting its biotech research findings to an audience of professionals at LABVOLUTION with the life sciences event BIOTECHNICA in Hannover, Germany.

Companies and research institutes will be using the event to highlight the fruits of their research, as exhibitors at the TUB pavilion intent on connecting with potential cooperation partners from around the world. The TUB welcomes participation by research facilities and start-ups. Another reason for the TUB presence at this leading European trade fair for innovative laboratory technology lies in the fact that it is an ideal platform for promoting the numerous courses of study offered by its various institutes and departments.

Single-use bioreactor CELL-tainer

The TUB will be presenting the CELL-tainer, which is one of the outstanding results of bio-processing technology work carried out at the Institute for Biotechnology. The single-use bioreactor CELL-tainer was developed in collaboration with the company Celltainer Biotech. Previously available as 20 l and 200 l models there is now a smaller 2 l model. This wave-mixed reactor is suitable not only for the low shear cultivation of cell lines, but also – due to the comparatively high gas mass transfer rate – for the cultivation of micro-organisms. Until recently this concept could only be effectively applied to the fed-batch cultivation of Escherichia coli with bio dry mass concentrations of up to 60 gL-1 without additional oxygen supply. However, with the current system it is also possible to cultivate filamentous fungi, whereby the formation of structures is determined solely by the growth medium due to the low shear forces. In addition, a variant was developed for the cultivation of phototrophic organisms which by virtue of the high surface to volume ratio ensures good light energy conversion.

Enzymatic nucleoside and nucleotide synthesis

Another keynote of the TUB pavilion is the application of enzymatic processes in pharmaceutical production developed by BioNukleo. If DNA is broken down further, nucleosides and nucleotides ‒ the building blocks of life ‒ remain. Synthetically produced nucleosides are fundamental to the pharmaceutical arsenal in the fight against disease. Chemical processes are the state-of-the-art technology upon which their manufacture is based, however there are limitations with respect to the purity of the products created and these processes cannot replicate certain molecules. Consequently, BioNukleo has focused on the development of enzymatic processes in order to manufacture modified nucleosides and nucleotides. This process will help pharmaceutical companies to develop new medicines with relatively little effort as well as to improve the production of existing products.

Production techniques in biotechnology

The TUB pavilion also addresses biotech production, featuring advances in mold and toolmaking for biotechnological and medical applications. Engineers in biotechnology and mechanical engineering at the Institute for Machine Tools and Factory Operation at TUB have been working on cross-over and interdisciplinary solutions in these fields. LABVOLUTION with BIOTECHNICA will showcase precisely formed molds suitable for use in the replicative manufacture of dental products and in microfluid systems for blood and cell analysis. Another display will present the findings of a project funded by the German government into the early detection of damaging microorganisms in engineering and technical fluids such as automotive paints. The multisensory system developed is capable of detecting microbiological contamination. Following integrated evaluation the system applies a dose of biocides to counter the contamination.

Patented findings of the TU Berlin

Another highlight at the TUB pavilion: a rich array of patented findings. The Center for Intellectual Property is the hub of the TU Berlin for all legal issues and matters relating to technology. As a center for technology transfer it is an authority on the legal protection and marketing of research findings and innovations. Thanks to cooperation with numerous national and international partners the technology developed at the TU Berlin can be found across the world in numerous products and systems. At LABVOLUTION with BIOTECHNICA the Center for Intellectual Property will showcase all the patented innovations of the TU Berlin, including patents in the fields of medical technology, biotechnology and process technology, as well as in the chemicals sector.

Among the exhibitors taking part the start-up company CellBricks GmbH will attract special attention with its new bioprinting technology, which facilitates the 3-D printing of complex biological materials. CellBricks specializes in bioprinting services and produces customized biological structures, as well as standardized product series. Production activities focus on mini-organs, physiological cell cultures and scaffolds. These products facilitate, for example, the testing of regenerative technologies and the development of new agents and active ingredients. The printing technique can be used in everyday standardized laboratory procedures and obviates the need for cost-intensive adjustments.