MPI Colloquia Series: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiechert, Systems Biotechnology, Forschungszentrum Jülich

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MPI Colloquia Series: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiechert, Simulating huge Bioreactors in tiny Chips: Technologies for Microbial Single Cell Analysis

  • Date: Feb 14, 2019
  • Time: 16:00 - 17:00
  • Speaker: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiechert
  • Head of Systems Biotechnology, Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • Location: Max Planck Institute Magdeburg
  • Room: Big Seminar Room "Prigogine"
  • Contact:

The Max Planck Institute Magdeburg invites you to its series of colloquia.
Top-class scientists, from notable German and worldwide research institutions, give a survey of their research work. Everybody who is interested, is invited to attend.


Established methods for bioprocess development mostly rely on two homogeneity assumptions: The bioreactor is well stirred and the cell population is homogeneous. Although this is a good starting point for process engineers, it is presently not understood how far spatial or population heterogeneity influences the performance of industrial processes or even leads to the failure of traditional methods. A state of the art experimental tool to give answers to these questions is to build up picolitre scale bioreactors with a perfect environmental control in space and time. In recent years, such a microfluidic cultivation platform for bacterial cells has been established at the Jülich biotechnology institute IBG-1.

Several examples from recent research projects will be given illustrating the great potential of single cell bioreactors for biological research. From an engineering viewpoint, a focus will be laid on the computational design of microfluidic cultivation devices and it will be shown how far a perfect environmental control is already possible. The crucial role of image analysis algorithms for the evaluation of experiments and even the close-loop steering of cultivations will be demonstrated. Finally, aiming at single cell systems biology, the “holy grail” problem of single cell metabolomics will be discussed.

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