Biotech instructors across the US have been stepping up to help out their colleagues and share materials for teaching concepts in biomanufacturing. While we all acknowledge that working with virtual tools is not the same as working with our own bioreactors, we can see useful features that may keep some instructors using these tools even when we're allowed back in the lab.
Biomanufacturing is a collection of processes that companies use when making biological products. In the first part of the process, living things are grown in culture under conditions where they will produce the proteins or other substances that we want. Biotechnology products are made by a variety of living things such as plants, bacteria, human cells, algae, insect cells, yeast, fungi, and probably some I've neglected to mention. This part of biomanufacturing is called Upstream processing.
Once a sufficient amount of a biological product has been made, that product needs to be separated from the cells and purified. That part of biomanufacturing is called Downstream processing.
An important piece in biomanufacturing is scale. When researchers purify proteins to study, they do this on a small scale. Maybe they grow a few liters of a culture and purify material from that. When companies purify products, they have to work out how to transition from a small scale to a commercial scale.
All the items below have been contributed by experienced biotech instructors. If there are items we should add, please contact us and let us know. We will be adding to this collection over time.
Resources and virtual tools for biomanufacturing arranged from small scale to larger scale upstream and downstream processes
3. UPSTREAM PROCESSING - growing cells at small and large scales
Learn how mammalian cell cultures are inoculated and scaled up to grow in 200 liter fermenters. These materials cover using a hemocytometer to count cells, inoculating cells from frozen samples, and growing cells in single-use bioreactors.
Read about purifying Green Fluorescent Protein on a large scale in: GFP: the Hellow World of Biomanufacturing This story involves the fill and finish steps also. You can see some of your favorite biotech instructors modeling protective clothing and holding tubes of GFP.
5. LEARN ABOUT GMPs
"Making the Call: Quality in Biomanufacturing" is an interactive movie that presents cases from industry where different characters face interesting choices. Go to the movie, explore the cases, and see what happens when characters at Franklin Biologics choose unwisely.