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Glycobiotechnology in Berlin-Brandenburg

  • Text
  • Pharma
  • Biotech
  • Berlin
  • Institute
  • Glycobiotechnology
  • Sciences
  • Technologies
  • Carbohydrates
  • Brandenburg
  • Diagnostics

14 Key Areas of Research

14 Key Areas of Research and Development – Advancements in Healthcare Will Be Sweet Creating Synergies – Combining Glycosciences with Other Disciplines Leads to Cross Innovation Glycobiotechnology offers such a huge range of possible applications that other science disciplines are becoming increasingly excited to integrate their own expertise with the newest findings from glycosciences. The potential of glycobiotechnology reaches unprecedented levels when different disciplines are involved. Bioinformatics tools are essential for glycobiology research Bioinformatics has already become an integral and indispensable part of all glycomics activities as specific software tools are needed to manage the enormous flood of experimental data generated. The development of sophisticated algorithms is the basis for a precise analysis and evaluation of glycobiology research. MicroDiscovery GmbH, a leading provider of high quality software for biomolecular research, offers custom-tailored software development. Managing Director Arif Malik is also co-founder of BDW Berliner Diagnostik Werke GmbH, a company developing carbohydrate-based microarrays. HealthTwiSt GmbH is another bioinformatics specialist supporting customers with data management and statistical analysis services. Creating new functional materials by combining glycans and polymers The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research tackles a completely new field of carbohydrate-based applications. The institute explores the potential benefits of combining glycans with polymers for a broad variety of applications. Ruben R. Rosencrantz and his team work on glycan-based coatings, e.g. for contact lenses to achieve better tolerability. The group also conducts research on glycan-based polymers involving mucins. Mucins, glycosylated proteins, are a component of the mucus in the mouth or other mucous membranes. Beside other functions they serve as a protective barrier against microbes. Possible applications include coatings for handrails, hand grips for toilets in trains and other frequently touched objects that might transmit pathogens. Another project aims at developing an intelligent coating of cell culture plates which allows for a more gentle detachment of cells. The scientists are also engaged in diagnostic applications. They develop glycan-based sensors to detect bacteria or its toxins that bind to certain carbohydrate structures of human cells. Their aim is to develop point-of-care diagnostics for pathogens like Clostridium, Heliobacter pylory, Pseudomonas or enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). Cell-free systems for synthesis, modification and analysis of glycoproteins The need for enzymes, complex peptides and glycoproteins, or synthetic biomolecules in general is constantly increasing in food technology and the agricultural, cosmetics, detergent industries and, above all, in the health “Glycans are biomolecules which exhibit one of the greatest variety of different functionalities in nature. Integrating glycans into polymers allows to create new tailored materials with a broad range of applications, such as fast diagnostics of pathogens, encapsulation for drug delivery, anti-fouling surfaces and functional coatings, to name just a few. By combining nature’s diversity with the possibilities of modern programmable and functional materials, the Fraunhofer IAP wants to break new ground in polymer science.” Ruben R. Rosencrantz Project leader at Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP, Functional Protein Systems / Biotechnology

Key Areas of Research and Development – Advancements in Healthcare Will Be Sweet 15 sector. In this context, cell-free systems are gaining increased interest, e.g. for the production of tailor-made glycoproteins. Cell-free bioproduction only uses the subcellular components of the organisms that are required for the synthesis. Extensive work has been carried out at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI, Branch Bioanalytics and Bioprocesses Potsdam-Golm (IZI-BB) to establish this technology and to develop it further. Applied glycosciences in nutrition The increasing knowledge on carbohydrates enables the generation of probiotics and nutritional products with distinct new properties. Regional players utilize glycosciences to develop innovative products that meet the needs of customers in the food and beverages industry. AnalytiCon Discovery GmbH addresses glycosylated natural products by applying medicinal or natural product chemistry to develop innovative products with beneficial features for the pharma sector as well as for nutrition and cosmetics applications. The company is co-initiator of the DOLCE program which offers food companies support to develop and produce natural sweetening solutions in order to achieve sugar-and calorie reductions in diverse food and beverage categories. Apart from its enzyme business, evoxx technologies GmbH offers innovative carbohydrates produced by enzymatic bioconversion using simple raw materials like sucrose and fructose. The company has several carbohydrate products under development that address present trends and the demands of the global food industry like low calorie products, slowly digestible carbs or dietary fibers. “At Fraunhofer IZI, our current research activities are particularly focused on the cellfree synthesis of glycoproteins and their functional characterization. The enormous time savings are a key advantage of the cell-free system. Glycoproteins can be synthesized in just 90 minutes, whereas cell-based protein synthesis takes over 24 hours. Cell-free systems also have an ‘open’ design, meaning that external components can be added to the system in order to have a targeted impact on the quality and quantity of the glycoprotein. One of the outstanding perspectives of cell-free protein synthesis consists in the production of glycoproteins containing amino acids with different types of modified side chains.” Stefan Kubick Head of Department Cell-free and Cell-based Bioproduction, Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, (IZI), Branch Bioanalytics and Bioprocesses Potsdam-Golm (IZI-BB)

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