UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Rapid Fermentation Process Design

Focusing on rapid fermentation process development and scale-up

This module focuses on the design and specification of bioreactors and the application of microscale techniques for rapid fermentation process development and scale-up. A series of comprehensive lectures and case studies will enable you to:

  • Understand engineering principles of fermentation.
  • Determine power consumption and oxygen mass transfer.
  • Evaluate different strategies for scale-up and scale-down.
  • Know about miniaturised bioreactors and their role in fermentation process development.
  • Understand how to design a bioreactor and use data from microscale experiments for scaleup.
  • Network with sector leaders and subject matter experts.

Emphasis is on teaching through interactive problem solving case studies in small classes for effective learning.

This MBI is recommended for:

Fermentation scientists and engineers in biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies’ or similar who are involved in process transfer to manufacturers and also those in established fermentation development groups wishing to be kept up to date with the latest research in this area.

Module Leader

Dr Frank Baganz currently holds the position of Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biochemical Engineering at University College London (UCL). He joined UCL as a lecturer in 1998 following the completion of his PhD in Yeast Molecular Biology and Fermentation from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

He has established a track record in modelling, engineering and scale-up/down of fermentation, cell culture and biocatalytic processes. In particular, he established the engineering fundamentals of mixing and oxygen transfer in microwells and developed novel miniaturised bioreactors. His research also demonstrated the feasibility of predictive scale up from micro/mini reactors to lab scale reactors using established methods. In collaboration with Professor Gary Lye, he pioneered the use of microwell-based techniques to acquire information about fermentation and bioconversion. In recognition for his contributions to this area he received the 2010 Pharmaceuticals Division Plenary Award of the AIChE.

Recently, he established research in the area of algal biotechnology. Working in close collaboration with Dr Saul Purton (ISMB) he is assessing the potential of microalgae for recombinant protein synthesis and the production and recovery of biofuels using scale-down approaches for cell and process characterisation.
Programme Outline

Day 1

  • Power consumption in gassed and ungassed bioreactors
  • Scale-up: effects of scale and scale-up strategies
  • Oxygen mass transfer in bioreactors
  • Case Study: Design of a bioreactor

Day 2

  • Tutorial: Scale-up from shake flasks to stirred bioreactors
  • Bioreactor mixing
  • Bioreactor scale-down: strategies and devices
  • The ambr™ advanced micro bioreactor system automate high throughput screening and process development studies for both cell and microbial culture processes

Day 3

  • Tutorial: High throughput process development
  • Case Study: Predictive scale-up based on microscale experiments
  • Tutorial: Microfluidic bioreactors - microfluidics fundamentals, bioreactor design and applications
  • Rapid fermentation process development – industrial perspective

    A networking dinner will be held on the first evening.