Cell Culture Technology Group

Despite all progress, the development of fermentation processes with mammalian cells is to a large extend still based on empirical knowledge and historical experience. This is mainly due to missing qualitative and especially quantitative data and understanding of intracellular mechanisms under bioprocess conditions. Concomitantly there is an increasing economical and social interest in efficient processes for the production of biopharmaceuticals to ensure the supply of the public with modern, highly efficient and safe therapeutic and diagnostic proteins to moderate costs.

In this context the Cell Culture Technology Group headed by Prof. Dr. Thomas Noll since a couple of years is working on the development and optimization of functional genomics techniques and their application in bioprocess and cell line development.

This includes genome sequencing, epigenetic analyses (e.g. DNA-methylation), transcriptomics (m-Array and RNAseq) , proteomics (2D-DIGE and phosphoproteom), intra- and extracellular metabolomics and glycoanalysis (of secreted recombinant proteins).

We use these methods to gain a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of mammalian cell fermentations on a cellular and molecular level and we use this for the development of optimized cell lines and fermentation processes. Currently we are especially interested in the question of heterogeneity in biotechnological cultivation processes and among others try to answer the following questions:

  1. How homogeneous is a clonal cell population under process conditions?
  2. Which epigenetic modifications occur during seed train and cultivation and how do they influence the process performance?
  3. Is it possible to predict the outcome of a fermentation process in terms of productivity and product quality?
  4. What are the reasons for macro- and micro-heterogeneity in product quality (e.g. glycosylation)?

Since many years the Cell Culture Technology Group is an active member of the Bielefeld Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec) and is engaged in many projects and initiatives.