Master Thesis

Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Magdeburg

Structural and Cell Biology Chemistry Complex Systems

Type of Job

Scientific and Technical Assistance

Master Thesis in Tissue Engineering, Virus Infection and Cell Metabolism

Job offer from September 06, 2017

The Department of Bioprocess Engineering at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg together with the Translational Center ´Regenerative therapies`, Fraunhofer ISC, is looking for a master student in the field of tissue engineering, viral infection & cell metabolism. The topic of the work will run under the title Influenza virus infection and metabolism in a human nasal airway model.

To develop good viral vaccines, it is essential to understand more of the viral infection dynamics within the respective infected tissue during disease, and equally to understand the differences to virus production within a cell-culture for high–yield viral vaccine production. Therefore, two groups want to join their forces on this topic. The Bioprocess Engineering Group is specialized in cell culture-based viral vaccine production in bioreactors up to 15 L, whereas the Fraunhofer Translational center has experience in creating tissue airway models. Current research at the MPI lab focuses on virus production at high cell density to increase virus yield. In a tissue typically high cell density is equally given. Additionally, mucos plays a role in lung tissue for counteracting virus distribution.

Therefore, the thesis work focuses on creating a tissue airway model to follow influenza virus infection with or without the presence of mucos. Changes in metabolism of non-infected tissue versus infected tissue under different conditions is equally to be analyzed.

The work thus consists of creating the model airway tissue, perform infection experiments with different influenza seed viruses and then analyze by microscopy, virus titration and analysis of selected aspects of metabolism (enzyme activities, intra- & extracellular metabolites).

For this project you will learn skills for the cultivation of mammalian cells and to prepare 3D tissue models, perform viral infections and use a wide set of analytical tools (microscopy, metabolic analysis, HA-assay, TCID50, PCR). You will work in two state of the art cell culture laboratories (bioreactor & tissue engineering knowledge) in an international group of researchers, TAs and students. All experimental work will be performed in Magdeburg.


This announcement refers to students in the field of (bio)chemical engineering, biotechnology, technical biology, biosystems engineering or related fields with a passion for process optimization of biological systems as well as tissue engineering. Experience in the field of cell culture or virology are beneficial. Self-directed initiative goal orientated work in the context of our research area is expected.


Interested? Send a complete application (motivational letter, CV, high school & university grades and references) via E-mail (1 pdf file) until November 30th, 2017 to:

Prof. Dr. Heike Walles
Phone   : +49-931-31-88828
E-Mail :


PD Dr. Yvonne Genzel
Phone   : +49-391-6110-257

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