Antibody Engineering is a key activity of the Biotechnology Department. First, antibodies are discovered by phage display by an in vitro process called panning. Typically, we use our billion-clone human antibody gene libraries - providing sequence defined monoclonal antibodies without the need to use experimental animals.
Using the power of in vitro display technologies, antibodies can be engineered with pre-defined biochemical properties and to targets not amenable to animal-based antibody generation. But this is just the start: in analogy to the engineering of machines, antibodies and other protein domains are designed, assembled at the molecular level, tuned and adapted to achieve specific functions in biological systems or technical applications.
Biosurfactants have gained notably attraction during past years due to their low toxicity, biodegradebility and structural diversity and are formed by several microorganisms and/or enzymatic treatment. They cover a broad range of potential industrial applictations and are found in enhanced oil recovery, crude oil drilling, lubricants, surfactant-aided bioremediation, health care and food. Moreover, they show are used as pharmaceutics. Among the biosurfactants the glycolipids cover a broad area of these amphiphile structures.
Marine biotechnology accesses a vast, only sparsely exploited natural resource for new materials, promising the discovery of new anti-pathogen or anti-cancer substances. In our lab, from marine bacteria associated with sponges or algae of the mediterranean and north sea cultivated in bioreactors up to 50L, a new compound with anti-tumoral effects was isolated.