Department Bioprocess Engineering and Biosystems
Interfaces as the scene of sorption processes, biochemical reactions and biological interactions
The work of the Department of Bioprocess Engineering and Biosystems comprises the development, modelling and application of novel apparatus and methods for the optimised use of technical interfaces in the fields of biotechnology, bioprocess engineering and general process engineering. In addition, the behaviour and interaction of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells in natural and technically modified environments are investigated in order to initiate specific manipulation strategies.
The starting point for work in the field of bioprocess engineering is often the development of novel, functional hybrid materials that combine innovative physicochemical effects with a high specificity for the respective target substances. In addition, the development of a next generation of biotechnological processes is another focus. Magnetic micro- and nanoparticles are an intensively studied example of this, as they have large specific surfaces and can be easily separated. Furthermore, microstructured/microfluidic systems are being investigated in which, for example, cellular processes such as enzyme cascades ("biomimetic compartments") can be simulated. In many cases, new 3D printing processes ("BioPrinting") or their development form the basis for the technologies described.
In the area of biosystems, on the one hand, the interactions of biomaterials with hematopoetic stem cells are specifically investigated, and on the other hand novel 3D cell culture systems based on microthermoformed polymers are developed for use as artificial (hematopoetic) stem cell niches. Microthermoformed polymer foils, so-called microcavity arrays, are also the basis of MRI-compatible microbioreactors, which are used as functional MRI phantoms.