Centre for Biochemistry and Bioanalytics
Our core competencies at the Centre for Biochemistry and Bioanalytics, headed by Prof. Dr. Christiane Zaborosch are recombinant protein technology, downstream processing, bioanalytics and bioinformatics.
We put our knowledge into practice in projects with life science companies, the pharmaceutical industry as well as in education courses and general teaching.
Areas of expertise
Recombinant Protein Technology
Pharmaceutically and biotechnologically relevant proteins are expressed in both prokaryotic (e.g. E. coli) and in eukaryotic cells (e.g. CHO, HEK). The goal is to achieve the highest possible expression rates of the target protein for downstream processing. We are experienced in the production of soluble proteins, refolding from inclusion bodies, and purification of membrane proteins.
In Downstream Processing (DSP) different methods are used to purify the target protein to homogeneity as required e.g. for an active pharmaceutical ingredient. The focus is on chromatographic techniques, but filtration methods are also used. The processes are developed in such a manner that a scale-up to GMP production is possible. At laboratory scale recombinant proteins are purified for preclinical pilot studies. In addition to the classical downstream procedures, we develop new methods, such as the automated screening of appropriate conditions for protein purifications using Design-of-Experiments (DOE).
We use a variety of bioanalytical methods for the detailed characterization of proteins and glycans. The complexity of proteins requires comprehensive analysis to obtain reliable data regarding therapeutic efficacy, pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity, protein folding and stability. With our LC-MS/MS (ESI-Q-TOF), we can determine accurate masses and generate information about sequences and post-translational modifications of proteins. Recombinant proteins often include complex glycosylations, the detailed examination of which we carry out by means of mass spectrometry and capillary electrophoresis methods. Ligand-analyt interactions are examined in label-free real-time measurements using state-of- the-art methods with a Biacore T200. These allow the determination of association and dissociation rate constants, and thereby the affinity.
Knowledge of the theoretical physicochemical properties of proteins is needed for analytical experiments, it facilitates the development of a downstream strategy and provides information about the stability of the product. Since none of the software applications currently available can satisfactorily meet all the requirements, a stand-alone web app with full functionality was developed.
Research & Development
In Centre for Biochemistry and Bioanalytics team we carry out applied science in the context of research and development projects, service contracts and Bachelor’s and Master’s theses. We use our experience in recombinant protein technology, downstream processing and bioanalytics, and the infrastructure of our superbly equipped laboratories.
Examples of R&D Projects
Courses of study
Poster Master Theses
We offer courses in both DSP and bioanalytics according to customer-specific needs. In addition to lectures and theoretical exercises, practical experience in the laboratory is usually included. Since 2005, for example, more than 200 employees of F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG from the MAB Facility in Basel have been trained in the DSP of monoclonal antibodies in 1-2 week courses, with 12 participants per course.