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Project: Autobio

Lupe [1]

Tomorrow's BioIndustry- Automated platform for bioprocess development

Responsible person

Peter Neubauer [2]

Groups involved

Automated Bioprocess Development [3]


Florian Glauche, Julia Glazyrina


The AutoBio joint research project develops strategies to significantly shorten development times and costs of industrial bioprocesses. We focus on the combination of different technologies as well as on the application of automated procedures at micro- and milliliter scale for all steps of bioprocess development.

Usually, a group of natural scientist in R&D develops a chemical component according to a certain target. They have already developed a process to produce initial amounts of the component for characterization and screening purposes. Then, that initial process is handed over to process development to the process engineers – and frequently a gap in the whole course of development is observed.

This lack of straight forward development results from the techniques applied. Usually, the strain that produces the target compound is developed in batch cultures. Based on these results, the most promising candidates are selected for process development. As process development applies fed-batch cultivation techniques, there is no need that previous observations are repeated. Negative results force the development team to run more screening experiments and this sort of iteration continues. In the end there is a limited set of data, on which the scale-up for production is based on. There is only little information available how the strain and the product formation may be affected by conditions in large-scale fermentations, mainly by the effect of inhomogenities.

Therefore, the Autobio project aims to move these before-mentioned procedures from ‚trial and error‘ to a sustainable process development that also takes the conditions of large-scale fermentations into account.

Lupe [4]

We intend to demonstrate this by applying a consistent bioprocess development and scale-up in combination with state of the art technologies. The consistent bioprocess development starts at 200 µL scale in MTPs. Consistent development is guaranteed byapplying the fed-batch technology (EnBase®) also at small scales. At 200 µL and at 10 mL scale pipetting robots will perform automatic cultivation and measurement. The scale-up may be performed up to production scale.During development, the latest technology like experimental design, modeling and online sensors for microplates as well as automatic experimental planning will also be applied.

The whole process development approach relies on consistency, e.g. the parameter fields are determined by experimental planning (DoE), the production systems are investigated under process related conditions and the data is managed by an IT tool. These platform technologies are currently applied to certain demonstrator processes. The service of the HT lab is also open to in-house and interested customers.

Lupe [5]

Shortening development times and costs will be achieved by introducing and applying interdisciplinary procedures between biotechnology, process and electrical engineering as well as information technology. The AutoBio consortium consists of the chairs of measurement and control, and bioprocess engineering at TU Berlin as well as of five industrial partners: BRAIN AG, infoteam Software AG, BioSilta Europe GmbH, PreSens Precision Sensing GmbH, Organobalance GmbH.

The AutoBio joint research project (grant number FKZ 02PJ1150) is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Berlin, Germany) during the following three years. Being supervised by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA, Karlsruhe, Germany) it has a total volume of 3.7 million Euros and is part of the future program “research for tomorrow’s production”. After inspection of the 114 project plans submitted only 13 were advised for funding.



Project partner

Lupe [6]

Chair of Bioprocess Engineering [7]Project coordinaition, setup and erection of robotic platforms for high-throughput process development

Chair of Measurement and Control [8] Experimantal design (DoE), modelling and processcontrol

Lupe [9]

BioSilta Ltd. [10] novel fed-batch media for cultivations in mL and µL scale

Lupe [11]

BRAIN AG [12] Application of the robitic platforms for automated screening and process development

Lupe [13]

infoteam Software AG [14] Software modules for automated bioprocess development

Lupe [15]

Organobalance GmbH [16] Application of the robitic platforms for automated screening and process development

Lupe [17]

Presens Precision Sensing GmbH [18] Development of novel pH and DO sensors


Prof. Dr. Peter Neubauer
Fachgebiet Bioverfahrenstechnik
Institut für Biotechnologie
Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)
Ackerstr. 71-76, ACK24
D-13355 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: +49 30 314 72269
Sekretariat: +49 30 314 72573
Fax: +49 30 314 27577
peter.neubauer@tu-berlin.de [19]
www.bioprocess.tu-berlin.de [20] 

Dr.-Ing. Alexander Lucumi
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
Projektträger Karlsruhe
Produktion und Fertigungstechnologien (PTKA-PFT)
Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1
76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen
Tel.: +49 721 60 82 83 08
Fax: +49 732 60 82 54 56
alexander.lucumi@kit.edu [21]
www.produktionsforschung.de [22]

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