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Applied Biocatalysis

About this course

The purpose of this course is to get insight in the possibilities and the problems concerning the application of biocatalysts for the preparation of chemicals and (bio)pharmaceuticals. The biocatalyst (enzyme or microbial cell) is usually the most expensive part in the process, so it is often immobilised to enable its reuse. The course therefore starts with lectures on the chemistry of immobilisation and on the effects that immobilisation has on enzyme kinetics and transport phenomena. The latter will be illustrated by practical experiments at BPE. The course then continues with 3 PGO cases, in which students in small groups study three different problems: 1) pros and cons of two biocatalytic (or chemical) routes to make a particular fine chemical; 2) enzymatic post-recombinant modification of biopharmaceuticals; 3) the application of biocatalysts to make biobased chemicals or biofuels. Downstream processing and economical aspects should be addressed in all three cases.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • evaluate and understand the effects of immobilisation, environmental effects and changes in kinetic parameters on the kinetics and selectivity of enzymes;
  • analyse transport phenomena inside immobilised biocatalysts;
  • calculate effectiveness factors and mass transfer coefficients;
  • analyse literature reports on the biocatalytic synthesis of fine chemicals, and make decisions on the pros and cons of these routes;
  • evaluate the factors that determine cost effectiveness in industrial biocatalytic processes;
  • understand the structure and working mechanisms of monoclonal antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates;
  • analyse literature on the use of enzymes for the post-recombinant modification of biopharmaceuticals;
  • analyse literature on the use of enzymes for the biotechnological production of biobased products from lignocellulosic by-products.

Teaching method and examination

The final mark is based on the written report of the practical, the written reports and the oral presentation of the PGO cases, and a written exam.
The marks for the individual parts of this course will become invalid after 2 academic years, or after 3 unsuccessful attempts to pass the exam.
During the exam, all course material may be used ('open book exam').

Required prior knowledge

Mandatory Knowledge:
ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety
Assumed Knowledge:
BIC-20806 Enzymology; ORC-20306 Bio-organic Chemistry and BPE-21306 Bioreactor Design.

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.
There are currently no offerings available for students of TU Eindhoven