Omics technologies in automated bioprocess development

(M.Sc. Karlis Blums)

The rapid acquisition of technically relevant process information is of great importance for the development of biotechnological production processes. To this end, the Chair of Bioprocess Engineering has already miniaturised and parallelised stirred- tank bioreactors and automated them with laboratory robots in the digital bioprocess laboratory.

So far, however, only extracellular process data are available online in parallel and miniaturized bioreactors such as pH and dissolved oxygen concentrations. In addition, measurements of turbidity (as a measure of biomass concentration), substrate and metabolite concentrations can be made available by the pipetting robot at-line. For automated and digitised bioprocess development, however, it is also important to measure under which process conditions which genes are expressed intracellularly and to what extent.

The initial objective of this research project is therefore to establish automated transcriptome analyses for up to 48 stirred-tank reactors operated with a pipetting robot on a mL scale. The integration, parallelisation and automation of whole transcriptome sequencing methods (RNA-Seq) should make it possible to characterise microbial production strains at the molecular level in scalable parallel processes. Together with suitable digitisation approaches, this should create the prerequisite for greatly shortening strain and process development times.