New Bioreactor Experiment Debuts in Chemical Engineering Senior Lab

Chemical engineering senior Chris Hawxhurst loads media into the new bioreactor in preparation for the day’s experiment.

This fall, a new experiment on cell culture and scale-up is allowing seniors in the Chemical Engineering Program to gain hands-on experience with elements of bioprocess engineering.  Thanks to a generous equipment donation from Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Cheshire, CT), students have the opportunity to utilize industry-standard equipment and learn firsthand the challenges of working with live cell cultures. This new experiment now serves as one of the anchor experiments in the rotation.  Students spend three weeks getting a taste of the entire experience, including media preparation, sterilization techniques, small-scale batch culture, and scale up to the 2-L bioreactor. Once in the bioreactor, the students look at how various parameters, including glucose concentration, agitation rate, and temperature impact the growth kinetics of their model system, E. Coli, with an eye towards maximizing biomass production. This new experiment provides the opportunity to expose the numerous undergraduates who are interested in biochemical or bioprocess engineering to the fundamentals of industrial biotech processes.

This entry was posted in News.