Discovery, characterisation and production of biopharmaceuticals have been an important research area at SINTEF for more than 25 years. Main focus has been development of microbial production processes. We have established numerous methods, technologies, assays and laboratories to support this activity. Medical technology and Nanomedicine is rapidly growing research areas in SINTEF, where we focus on development of nanoparticles tailored for drug delivery, biosensors, and new solutions for therapy and diagnostics.
SINTEF Materials and Chemistry Biotechnology and Nanomedicine
RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION
Biotechnology and nanomedicine are key enabling technologies for various sectors of society and multiple industries. The technology is used in development of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biomaterials, enzymes, food, feed, chemicals and energy. SINTEF Materials and Chemistry has a strong operation in the fields of microbial molecular biology, bioprocess- and medical technology, biopolymers/polymers, biopharmaceuticals and nanomedicine, and is operating a state-of-the-art research infrastructure including advanced mass spectrometry.
Department of Biotechnology and Nanomedicine develops processes for fractionation and purification of products produced by fermentation, and from biomass. The department has experience and infrastructure for purification of small, bioactive molecules, as well as macromolecules such as proteins and virus.
Microbial bioprocesses is an important research area at SINTEF Materials and Chemistry. Department of Biotechnology and Nanomedicine has for the last ten years worked with microbial processes related to environmental technology. Examples are conversion of various types of feedstock to biofuel and platform chemicals, expertise within degradation of crude oil and other unwanted and recalcitrant chemicals in nature and bioreactors, and microfouling/biofilm formation on various surfaces from water systems to ship hulls.
Food and feed products may undergo both wanted and unwanted microbial, biochemical and chemical processes and changes during production and storage, e.g. lactic acid fermentation of milk products, microbial and enzymatic ripening of cheese, meat and fish products, and microbial, enzymatic and chemical deterioration of food products during storage. Different strategies may be used to control, promote or prevent these processes. Biotechnological processes may also be used to produce food and feed ingredients, e.g. polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Functional Metagenomics R&D is a relatively new and rapidly growing research area at SINTEF. Building on a long tradition of Marine Bioprospecting at SINTEF and NTNU, it aims at accessing and exploiting the metabolic potential of the entire microbial biodiversity in natural habitats, including the great majority of microorganisms that cannot be readily cultivated under laboratory conditions.
SINTEF has advanced facilities for high throughput screening and is working with lab automation and high throughput screening in a range of projects. The robotic screening facility at SINTEF has state of the art equipment for efficient automation of assays and cultivation in microplate format. Several thousands of samples and cultures are processed per day on a regular basis in the screening facility.
Industrial biotechnology is a key research area at SINTEF Materials and Chemistry. Industrial biotechnology uses enzymes and micro-organisms to make biobased products in sectors such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and feed ingrediens, detergents, paper and pulp, textiles and bioenergy.
Department of Biotechnology and Nanomedicine has several projects focusing on increased value creation and generation of novel products from marine biomass and marine organisms. Marine microorganisms produce a range of components with biological activity.
Biological and biotechnological systems are often very complex, containing a large number (hundreds to thousands) of distinct chemical compounds. The use of mass spectrometry (MS) coupled to chromatographic separation (GC, LC, IC, FFF) allows for sensitive and robust quantification (ng/ml and below) of one or several selected compounds. This can be done even when the compound(s) of interest is present at very low concentration and in complex mixtures with closely related molecules. No other analytical technique can provide the same combination of sensitivity, selectivity and specificity for biological systems.
SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, Department of Biotechnology and Nanomedicine has been and currently is coordinating and participating in several transdisciplinary national and international projects aiming at systems scale understanding of microbial cells. The aim is to develop them into efficient microbial cell factories by means of metabolic engineering and applying top-down Synthetic Biology and metabolic engineering approaches.
High throughput screening facility, Trondheim
The robotic screening facility at SINTEF are optimized for high throughput analytical and cultivation work and enables us to process of thousands of samples or cultures per day.
Molecular biology laboratory
We have state of the art equipment for molecular biology, including an Illumina MiSeq sequencer, droplet digital PCR (ddPCR), Agilent Bioanalyzer, CHEF Mapper XA pulse field gel electrophoresis system and a Bluepippin cassette-based gel electrophoresis system for DNA and protein separation, in addition to ÄKTA FPLC equipment for protein purification. Our co-workers have several years of experience and master most topics and protocols related to genetic modification of bacteria.
Fermentation laboratory at SINTEF
SINTEF has a nationally leading research laboratory for development of microbial and cell based production processes. The laboratory has robotic equipment for miniaturized cultivation, large capacity incubators for shake flasks, laboratory fermentors (1-3 L) equipped for extensive process control and monitoring, and a pilot plant with two fermenters (50 and 300 L) for scale-up studies and small productions.
DAFIA - Biomacromolecules from municipal solid bio-waste fractions and fish waste for high added value applications
The main objective of DAFIA is to exploit municipal solid wastes (MSW) and marine rest raw materials (MRRM) as feedstocks for higher value products. Municipal solids wastes represents more than 500 kg/capita (EU-27 average) and 300 million tonnes overall every year in the EU-32. Currently, approximately 50% of this volume is landfilled, while the rest is incinerated for energy production.
BubbleCAN – Microbubbles for Ultrasound-Mediated Cancer Treatment
BubbleCAN addresses the optimization of a product for the delivery of very high local concentrations of drugs to tumors using non-invasive focused ultrasound. The product is based on SINTEF owned technology platforms.
Smartfish NutriDrug: Efficient oral drug delivery system for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases
New solutions for orally administrated drugs are in demand by users, society and the pharmaceutical industry. The overall goal of NutriDrug is to develop a novel and efficient oral drug delivery system for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases.
New allergy test promises safer antibiotic use
Allergies to antibiotics are the commonest form of medication allergies and, in the worst cases, can result in anaphylaxis and death. SINTEF is participating in the development of a new allergy test that will make it easier to provide patients with safe and correct treatments.
Commercialising gas bubbles for cancer drug delivery
Researchers are now working to design stable micro-bubbles which, combined with ultrasound, can deliver cancer drugs straight to the target tumour.