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DFG Research Group FOR 856: Microsystems for Particulate Life-Science Products

Project contact: Stefan Beinert; Thomas Gothsch

While microsystems due to their size-specific properties (such as high mass and heat transfer, short mixing time etc.) are on the rise for processes with pure liquids only few processes with particle loaded streams were realised in microsystems because of the risk of deposition, plugging and abrasion. The Braunschweig’s DFG research group FOR 856 ‘Microsystems for Particulate Life-Science Products’ (short: mikropart) would like to address these problems.

As model systems two complex microsystems which are applied in the field of life-science were chosen: a microbioreactor as well as a microsystem for the production of active agent loaded lipid nanoparticles. The most beneficial parameters for cultivation of microorganisms in a big bioreactor are supposed to be determined with the help of parallel working microbioreactors. Challenges are to keep the cells from leaving the microsystems, to control nutrient and oxygen supply and to measure the fluid and particle streams with the help of micro particle image velocimetry. For production of active agent loaded lipid nanoparticles the lipid phase has to be mixed with the reactive agents, dispersed and pre-emulsified with the water phase. This step is followed by the actual emulsification of the reactive agent loaded lipid phase into drops in nanometre range. Subsequently these drops are cooled down and crystallized to lipid nanoparticles. The micro system is supposed to allow an extensive screening of all kinds of reactive agents and formulations with low material and manpower requirements.

The realization of the project is based on the interdisciplinary composition of the participating working groups. The following institutions of the Technical University of Braunschweig are involved in the research group: microtechnology (development of the production process and construction of the microsystems), surface technology (minimization of sedimentation and abrasion through surface modifications), biological engineering (design and sensor technology of the bioreactor), particle technology (design and analysis of microstructures for dispersion and homogenisation), pharmaceutical technology (homogenisation and formulation of lipid nanoparticles), fluid mechanics (micro particle image velocimetry and flow simulation) and computer applications in construction engineering (flow simulation).

Further information are available on the mikropart website.


Team Members

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