Cell Systems Engineering
The Cell Systems Engineering (used to be Bioprocess Technology) group aims at improving the efficiency of bioprocesses by focussing on microbial performance. Knowledge of the metabolism of microbial cells is indispensable for (a) the optimisation of bioreactor operation, (b) the selection of the best micro-organism for a given biochemical conversion, (c) targeted or evolutionary improvement of an existing micro-organism and (d) design (metabolic engineering) of micro-organisms with new reactivities and/or morphology.
The group has broad experience in modelling both bioreactor systems and metabolic networks that function under (pseudo) steady state conditions. More recently, the research interest has shifted towards developing new experimental hardware, analytical protocols and theoretical tools that allow the in vivo analysis of the responses of microbial cells to environmental and genetic disturbances. The new tools are applied to study the metabolic reaction network and control structures in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Penicillium chrysogenum. The research currently focuses on the primary carbon metabolism of these two industrially relevant strains.
The group collaborates with the Industrial Microbiology, Bioprocess Engineering and Environmental Biotechnology group and is strongly involved in Bio-based, Ecologically Balanced Sustainable Industrial Chemistry (BE-Basic), and in education of BioTech Delft (sector 2).