Profile Cell Factory

Although humans have long exploited living cells to produce useful products - alcohol, cheese, and bread are examples from the dawn of civilisation - it has only been in the last half century or so that the technologies have existed to control those processes in such a way as to really be able to speak of a 'cell factory'. It is now possible to control and manipulate living cells to harvest a wide variety of substances produced in these 'factories'.

Those substance range from proteins and amino acids to solvents and plastics, with applications of great value not only in commercial and industrial sectors, but also in health care and food production. Cell factories may also present opportunities for sustainable production systems and for the development of new, biodegradable chemical products.

Using cells as production systems

The Cell Factory specialisation focuses on the design, understanding and optimisation of living cells as environmentally and economically sustainable production systems. The specialisation offers courses which provide students with the fundamental knowledge needed to use (microbial) cells and communities for the production of valuable substances ranging from food ingredients to fuels. The embedding of this specialisation in TU Delft's MSc Programme in Life Science & Technology ensures that students joining the Cell Factory specialisation will learn how to integrate and communicate knowledge drawn from fast-changing fields such as systems biology, synthetic biology and community engineering of industrial micro-organisms with the specialist knowledge inherent to bioprocess engineering and biocatalysis.

What you will learn

The programme provides its graduates with both the theoretical underpinnings of cell factories and an understanding of the engineering and industrial requirements for exploiting the enormous potential of the cell as a production system. Graduates will, accordingly, find excellent career opportunities in academia and in industry.

Combining different specialisations

This specialisation is part of the MSc programme in Life Science & Technology. The timetable for the programme has been set up to make it possible to follow two (or even three) specialisations at the same time. This gives you the possibility to first sample the different flavours, and only later in the first year to definitively choose a particular specialisation.

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