Basic Cell Factory Design


About this course

Rapid advances in biology allow us to design and construct cell factories, i.e. cells which are tailored to our process. The complexity of the biochemical reaction network in a cell makes mathematical models indispensable tools for constructing, optimizing and using such cell factories. This course teaches the basic aspects of building and using bioprocess engineering models for microbial cell factories. Two types of models will be discussed: black-box models and metabolic network models. Black-box models are based on observed cell behaviour in combination with material balances. Metabolic network models are based on detailed (genomic and biochemical) knowledge of the cellular reaction network and material balances.

Learning outcomes

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

  • explain the limitations of element balances, and explain which types of models can be added;
  • set up and use simple network models for stoichiometric and kinetic analysis of cells;
  • set up and use black-box models for cells;
  • explain how network models and black-box models complement each other;
  • explain which type of model is appropriate for a certain goal;
  • choose experimental methods for measuring parameters for stoichiometric and kinetic models;
  • calculate the required parameters from experimental results.

Required prior knowledge

Assumed Knowledge:
BPE12806 Bioprocess Engineering Basics BT;
MAT14903 Mathematics 2;
MAT15003 Mathematics 3.
PCC12303 General Chemistry 1.

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    12 May 2025

    • Ends
      4 July 2025
    • Term *
      Period 6
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 6 Apr 2025
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University