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Senior Lecturer in Biochemical Engineering
Phone: +44 (0)20 7679 4418
Fax: +44 (0)20 7916 3943
Dr. Sc. Techn. ETH, Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2001)
M.Sc., Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (1995)
Diploma, Education in University Teaching, Technical University of Denmark (DTU) (2007)
Professional Appointments, Honours and Awards
Associate Professor (Lektor), Biochemical Microreactors Group, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark (2005-2007)
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA (2001-2005)
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2001)
Research and Teaching Assistant, Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (1996-2001)
Guest Editorial in Journal of Biomedical Microdevices on Novel Fabrication Methods for BioMEMS
Fellowship for prospective researcher from the Swiss National Science Foundation Jacques Edouard Rott Award from ETH Zurich
Nicolas Szita’s research interests focus on the translation of bioprocessing concepts into microfluidic systems (or Lab-on-a-chip systems). He has particular expertise in the use of advanced microfabrication techniques for polymers (rapid prototyping), glass and silicon. He co-ordinates the research activities of the Microfluidics Laboratory in Biochemical Engineering, and collaborates with the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN).
Microfluidic devices provide an environment conducive to cell growth, operate with much smaller volumes, reducing the amount of cells and media required, and can be fitted with instrumentation for the real-time monitoring of assays. Additionally, they offer advantages unavailable at the larger scales, such as precise temporal and spatial control over the cellular microenvironment, and the scale-out to platforms of multiple microfluidic systems for high-throughput applications. Microfluidic systems are thus particularly suitable for the development of novel bioprocesses and the optimisation of bioprocesses for scale-up.
Current research includes Ph.D. projects on the use of microfluidic systems to process tiny amounts of precious human cells for drug discovery and cell therapy (with Dr Farlan Veraitch), the characterisation of mass transfer in microfluidic devices for mammalian cell culturing (with Prof Gary Lye), the establishment of experimental approaches for enzymatic bioconversion in microfluidic reactors (with Dr Frank Baganz and Dr H.C Hailes, Chemistry, as part of the Bioconversion-Chemistry-Engineering Interface, BiCE). Nicolas Szita is particularly active in the applications of microfluidics to Synthetic Biology. Together with Dr S. Cockroft (U of Edinburgh, Consortium Leader), Dr J. Howse (U of Sheffield), Dr L. Dougan (U of Leeds), and Dr K Polizzi (Imperial), he has won a Flashlight Funding research grant in Synthetic Biology (“Enabling Tools & Technologies in Synthetic Biology”).
In the framework of an European European Science Foundation (ESF) EuroCORES Eurosynbio grant (“Synthetic Biology To Obtain Novel Antibiotics and Optimized Production Systems”, SYNMOD), he develops parallelised microfluidic bioreactors for the rapid acquisition of design-relevant gene expression parameters in the required statistical depth. The consortium members include Prof O Kuipers (University of Groningen, Consortium Leader), Prof S Panke (ETH Zurich), Prof F Götz (Eberhard Karls Universität of Tübingen), Prof R Wagner (Universität Regensburg), and Dr M Schmidt (Organisation for International Dialogue and Conflict Management in Austria).
Teaching and Training Activities
Nicolas Szita teaches Biochemical Reaction Engineering (with Prof Asterios Gavriilidis, Chemical Engineering) at the undergraduate level. He also lectures on Microfluidics for the MRes programme of CoMPLEX and for the M.Sc. Nanotechnology students. At the post-experience level, Nicolas Szita is involved in the MBI® training modules Rapid Fermentation Process Design and Challenges and Opportunities in Biocatalysis.
*If you would like further information on any of these publications or news of related research, please contact email@example.com
Schäpper D., Stocks S.M., Szita N., Lantz A.E.L, Gernaey K.V., 2010. Development of a single-use microbioreactor for cultivation of microorganisms, Chem Eng J, doi:10.1016/j.cej.2010.02.038
Zainal Alam M.N.H., Szita N., Lantz A.E., Gernaey K.V., 2009. Application of microbioreactors in fermentation process development: a review, Anal Bioanal Chem 395:679–695, doi:10.1007/s00216-009-2955-x Boccazzi, P., Zhang, Z., Kurosawa, K., Szita, N., Bhattacharya, S., Jensen, K.F., Sinskey, A.J. 2006. Differential Gene Expression Profiles and Real-Time Measurements of Growth Parameters in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Grown in Microliter-Scale Bioreactors Equipped with Internal Stirring, Biotechnol. Prog. 22:3, 710 - 717 doi:10.1021/bp0504288
Zhang, Z., Szita, N., Boccazzi, P., Sinskey, A.J., Jensen, K.F. 2006. A well-mixed, polymer-based microbioreactor with integrated optical measurements, Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 93:2, 286-296. doi:10.1002/bit.20678
Szita, N., Buser, R., Elsenhans, O. 2006. Actuator coupling system and a pipetting module comprising such a coupling system, United States Patent 7,125,519 issued.
Szita, N., Boccazzi, P., Zhang, Z., Boyle, P., Sinskey, A.J., Jensen, K.F. 2005. Development of a multiplexed microbioreactor system for high-throughput bioprocessing, Lab on a Chip. 5:8, 819-826. doi:10.1039/b504243g
Boccazzi, P., Zanzotto, A., Szita, N., Bhattacharya S., Jensen, K.F., Sinskey, A.J. 2005. Gene expression analysis of Escherichia coli grown in miniaturized bioreactor platforms for high-throughput analysis of growth and genomic data, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 68:4, 518-532. doi:10.1007/s00253-005-1966-6
Zanzotto, A., Szita, N., Boccazzi, P., Lessard, Ph., Sinskey, A.J., Jensen, K.F. 2004. Membrane-aerated microbioreactor for high-throughput bioprocessing, Biotech Bioeng. 87:2, 243-254. doi:10.1002/bit.20140
Zanzotto, A., Szita, N., Jensen, K.F., Sinskey, A.J., Laibinis, P.E., Ram, R., Schmidt, M.A. 2003. Microfermentors for rapid screening and analysis of biochemical processes, US and PTC Patent Application.
Buser, R., Szita, N., Baader, F., Burger, J., Elsenhans, O. 2002. Micromechanical pipetting device, United States Patent 6407437 issued.
Szita, N., Buser, R., Dual, J. 2001. Aspiration and dispensing of biological liquids in the micro- and submicroliter volume range with high precision, Journal of Biomedical Devices. 3:3, 175-182. doi:10.1023/A:1011482407399
Szita, N., Sutter, R., Dual, J., Buser, R. 2001. A micropipettor with integrated sensors, Sensors and Actuators. A89, 112-118. doi:10.1016/S0924-4247(00)00531-8
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