Improved and new cell culture techniques and analytical measuring procedures basing upon them, must keep in step during the rapid biotechnological development of forward-looking therapeutical concepts. Hereby, standardization and optimization in the area of preclinical and clinical testings of agents and vaccines become more and more important. The department of Bioprocessing & Bioanalytics develops therefore alternative cell culturing systems and testing procedures for many different areas of stem cell research and nanobiotechnology. The development of agents is supported by special technology platforms: e.g. investigations about transport and release of therapeutical application systems over cellular barriers, like the blood-brain-barrier. Therefore, we developed systems physiologically quite similar to the human blood-brain-barrier. In here, e.g. nanoparticles can be tested which are able to recognize special structures of the blood-brain barrier, after been loaded prior with Alzheimer drugs and been occupied with anchor molecules on their surface. On this way, nanoparticles should specifically transport Alzheimer drugs into the brain.
Furthermore, it is possible to use these nanoparticles as gene ferries to transport DNA into cells, which enables the expression of certain proteins. Usually, targeted genetic changes of cells happen by the influence of viral vectors, but the use of those causes considerable problems like the risk of cancer formation by activation of proto-onkogenes. The virus-free genetic modification of cells by DNA-loaded nanoparticles presents a promising alternative both for stem cell research and for future cell therapies.
Besides, the departments’ newly developed cell culture systems and testing procedures in the field of nanotoxicology are used. High sensitive chip based testing procedures are developed at the department, to investigate physical, chemical and biological properties of nanoparticles and their influence on biological cells.