Molecular and applied biotechnology

The mission of the Molecular and applied biotechnology research group is to develop enabling technologies for the sustainable production of biobased building blocks and materials by optimising plants and microbes. Within AMIBM, the group is strategically positioned at the beginning of the value chain, to provide biobased building blocks, which can be further processed and turned into polymers for technical and medical applications.

Research

  • Production of enzymes for biomass conversion
    We can support the conversion of biomass (such as waste form the agricultural and food industry sectors) into building blocks and high-value products by identifying, optimising and producing suitable enzymes to maximize the yields, reduce the environmental impact and improve the overall economic viability of specific processes. By using design-of-experiment approaches to define optimal enzyme mixtures and reaction conditions we also aim at improving conversion processes requiring more than one enzymatic component
  • Production of repetitive proteins for the development of advanced materials
    We investigate strategies to boost the production of natural and engineered proteins with extraordinary mechanical properties, such as spider silk. To achieve this, we take inspiration from nature’s ability to produce repetitive proteins, and comprehensively optimise the manufacturing process at the levels of DNA (gene expression), protein synthesis and overall cell metabolism
  • Improvement of plant biomass by precise genetic modification
    Not only can we apply the CRISPR genome editing technology to improve the sustainable production of plant-derived building blocks and increase the value of biomass within a bio refinery concept, but we also look into finding solutions to the major current bottlenecks in the application of the technology, such as identification of edited plants and CRISPR delivery.

Projects

Education

  • BBM1002 Molecular Biology and Physiology of Plants and Microbes, master Biobased Materials
  • Internal Thesis Advisor for master Biobased Materials
  • Internal Supervision of Maastricht Science Programme bachelor Thesis Projects

Further Information