M.Sc. Ulrich Thiele


Research focus:

Development of a countercurrent flow reactor for continuous glycan synthesis using immobilised enzymes.


The aim of the project is to develop a compartmented biocatalytic countercurrent flow reactor for automated enzymatic synthesis using both glycosyltransferases for glycan synthesis and other enzymes. These are immobilised in different ways and enclosed in the central compartment of the novel modular membrane bioreactor. By using two membranes, continuous reactant streams and auxiliary streams are fed for reaction control and product concentration and purification steps.

An example of glycans are HMOs (human milk oligosaccharides), which serve as food for intestinal bacteria and thus contribute to a healthy intestinal flora. Using immobilised glysokyltransferases, which have a high regioselectivity, complex oligosaccharide structures can be synthesised by cascading.

The enzyme membrane reactor developed here addresses several challenges in the field of production of high-value molecules with enzyme cascades.


We assign bachelor and master theses. Possible topics can be experimental or simulative. In the case of an experimental topic, emphasis can be placed on process engineering or analytical development (e.g. sugar analysis) as well as enzyme characterisation.