University of Minnesota
BioTechnology Institute
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BRC Facilities


A wide variety of bench-scale to pilot scale fermenters is available:
- 6x 6.6L New Brunswick Scientific Bioflo 3000 fermenters with NBS Biocommand 32 control software
- 2x 10L B.Braun Biostat with MDS control units
- 3x 20L Biolafitte fermenters with Rhapsody digital controller systems
- 1x 75L New Brunswick Scientific fermenter with ML4100 controller and NBS Biocommand 32 software
- 1x 300L DCI/ABEC fermenter with Rosemont RS3 control system

Each of the bioreactors is equipped with the standard instrumentation for control of oxygen, pH, antifoam, agitation speed, airflow, vessel pressure, and feed/harvest rates. A central Thermo Onix Prima 32-valve off-gas mass spectrometer provides continuous off-gas monitoring capabilities for all 13 bioreactors. In addition, on-line measurement of dissolved CO2 and four methanol analyzer/controllers are available for methylotrophic fermentation. The bioreactors can operate inbatch, fed batch, and continuous mode and accommodate rapid temperature shifts for temperature induction.

A variety of supporting equipment is available including shakers, incubators, laminar flow hoods, chemical hoods, microscopes, freeze dryer, drying ovens, water baths, mix tanks, various pumps, a machine shop, and an electronics shop.
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Downstream processing

A wide range of equipment is available for harvest and purification of cells, proteins, and other biological molecules and cell fragments.

- 2x Sorval RC-5B
- 1x Sorval RC-2B
- Sharples Super Speed continuous flow (0.3 liter bowl, 62,000 x g)
- Sharples AS-15 continuous flow (5.5 liter bowl, 13,000 x g)

The continuous flow centrifuges are house in a 90 square foot recovery room with HEPA filtered exhaust for containment of microorganism-laden aerosols generated during centrifugation operations.

Cell disruption:
- French press
- Continuous flow Gaullin homogenizer
- Ultrasound Sonicator

- Modified Dorr-Oliver Ultrafiltration unit set up for plate&frame, hollow fiber, and spiral-wound modules
- Membranex spinning membrane microfiltration unit

- 2x Biorad bench-scale chromatography units
- BioCAD 60 Perfusion Chromatography System for rapid process develpment
- Pharmacia Biopilot Chromatography system
- Biosepra/NCSRT process-scale chromatography unit (max. flow rate 6L/min)
- Wide variety of chromatography columns (up to 12L bedvolume)
- For protein purification, an 80 square foot cold room with 8 foot ceiling to accommodate tall column operations is available.
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Molecular biology

The molecular biology suite is equipped with various gel electrophoresis systems including a Pharmacia Phast system, thermocyclers, and various scale high-speed and ultra centrifuges. In-house DNA sequencing capabilities are available through the Advanced Genetic Analysis Center.
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Analytical support

For off-line analysis of fermentation and cell culture samples is conducted using an HP 6890 gas chromatograph, a Waters HPLC, Varian 940 gas chromatograph, a Beckman DU65 uv/vis spectrophotometer and a Bio-tek EL 312e microtiter plate reader. State-of-the-art NMR and protein mass spectrometry capabilities are available through the University¹s Mass Spectrometry for the Life Sciences Consortium
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BRC facilities

The Biotechnology Resource Center is a 4,000 square-foot laboratory/pilot plant facility with state-of-the-art equipment for research and development in fermentation, animal cell culture technology, molecular biology, protein expression, and separation of a wide range of biological molecules.