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Sponsor: DFG

Contact person : Marcel Schrader

Summary of the overall project:

This project is part of the DFG priority programme DiSPBiotech (SPP 1934), which research is focused on dispersity-, structural- and phase-changes of proteins and biological agglomerates in biotechnological processes. Especially filamentous microorganisms are widely used by the industrial biotechnology for the production of chemical and pharmaceutical substances. The morphology of these microorganisms ranges, dependent on the process parameters (e.g. pH-value, cultivation media composition, mechanical stress, inoculum concentration), from loose mycelium to highly branched pellets. This project investigates the effect of micro- (<30 µm) and macro-particle (up to 5 mm) addition on the morphology and the linked productivity of the filamentous actinomycetes Lentzea aerocolonigenes. The application of both particle types showed already significantly increased concentrations of the antibiotic Rebeccamycin, apperently due to different phenomena: physico-chemical surface effects when micro-particles were added and mechanical stress when macro-particles were supplemented to the cultivation batch. By linking experiments and simulation, the underlying mechanisms of action are to be identified and quantified in order to build empirical-mechanistic models.

Goals and tasks of iPAT

  • Quantification of the mechanical stress energy and stress frequency on the macro scale (shake flask/ bioreactor) by using multiphase simulations (CFD-DEM coupling)
  • Measurement of micro-mechanical properties of single pellets and hyphae
  • Investigation of dispersity- and structural changes of pellets under mechanical stress by using DEM simulations of resolved pellet structures
  • Modelling of dispersity- and structural changes of pellets for population balance models
  • Chemical surface modifications of micro-particles and the characterization of the physico-chemical microorganism-particle-interactions

    Project partners:Chair of Process Systems Engineering, TUM; Chemical & Process Engineering Dept., TU Berlin; Chair of Measurement and Control, TU Berlin; Dept. Applied and Molecular Microbiology


    Fig. 1: CFD-DEM-Simulation of a shake flask with glass beads (left); illustration of a pellet-glass-bead collision (middle); pellet slice with a micro-particle core (right)

    Team Members

    Current Projects

    Comprehensive understanding of multi-component compaction more

    Investigation and modeling of mechanical and surface-induced stress of pelleted filamentous microorganisms more

    Identification and quantification of influencing material parameters during the compaction process of hard food products more

    Micromechanical Properties of Filamentous Fungi more

    Untersuchung der zellmechanischen Eigenschaften einzelner Mikroorganismen more

    Finished Projects

    T-MAPPP – Simulation of breakage and abrasion of granules and tablets more

    Behavior of UV-absorbing metal oxide nanoparticles in porous media and their influence on soil bacteria more

    Biofilm Mechanics more

    Einfluss der Zellaufschlussmethode auf die Expanded Bed Chromatographie mehr