The University of North Carolina at Pembroke provides leadership, education and advocacy to make Southeast North Carolina the best place to live, work and visit. The UNCP Biotechnology Facility will provide a "Theory-into-Practice" environment for:
- Education and training
- Technology transfer
- Regional economic transformation
The University at North Carolina is proud to announce the completion of its Biotechnology Research Facility located off campus at the Carolina Commerce & Technology Center Park (COMtech). This new 5,000 sq. ft. facility consists of laboratories for fermentation, chemistry, molecular biology and other life science technologies. The UNCP Biotechnology Research Facility has the capacity to address research problems in all sectors of biotechnology: agriculture, manufacturing, environmental and biomedical.
WHAT IS FERMENTATION?
Fermentation is the term used to describe any process for the production of a product by means of the culture of microorganisms or cells. Fermentation is often thought of as the "first step" in many biotechnology processes. Organic biological molecules, microbes, therapeutics, enzymes, antibiotics and vaccines are all produced using fermentation. Fermentation products can be either:
- The cells themselves. This is referred to as biomass production.
- A cell or microorganism's own metabolite referred to as a product from a natural or genetically improved strain.
- A cell or microorganism's foreign product from recombinant DNA technology or genetic engineering.
This fermentation technology applies chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, computer science, engineering, physics and business. It is our goal to establish a UNCP Biotechnology Facility at the research/bench scale, expandable to the scale of a manufacturing pilot plant.
EXAMPLES OF FERMENTATION PRODUCTS
- Amino acids Lipids
- Antibacterial agents Nucleotides
- Antifungal agents Organics
- Carbohydrates Pharmaceuticals
- Protein hormones Steroids
- Enzymes Monoclonal antibodies
- Foods Vitamins
MODES OF FERMENTATION
- Batch fermentation is carried out in a closed-system bioreactor. The sterilized nutrient medium is seeded (inoculated) with living cells. The mixture is incubated with stirring under specific conditions and the culture grows. Typically nutrients are not added during the growth. Often, oxygen (aerobic microbes), an acid or base to control pH and an antifoam agent are added. The composition of the medium and the concentration of biomass and nutrients change with time. The cell composition of the culture can be described in four phases. Fed-batch fermentation is a variation of the above process in which liquid streams of nutrients are continuously added in predetermined amounts as the fermentation process progresses. This will have the effect of extending the stationary phase and allowing us to obtain additional product.
- Continuous Fermentation is considered to be an "open system" where nutrients are continuously added to the system and product is continuously removed. The cell growth is kept at steady state using chemostat or turbostat technology.