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Metabolic engineering allows robust, standardized fermentation that is predictive at scale

By Scott Jenkins |

Production of bio-based chemicals has important environmental, cost and functional benefits, but historical approaches have lacked robustness to the commercial process environment and have proven costly to develop. A platform technology developed by DMC Biotechnologies (Boulder, Colo.; www.dmcbio.com) was designed to standardize microbial fermentation, provide high-throughput approaches that predictably scale to commercial volumes, and to create biocatalysts that are robust under industrial process conditions. DMC’s patented technology, known as Dynamic Metabolic Control, effectively decouples the microbes’ growth phase from production of the desired molecule in the fermentation vessel. “When the biocatalysts are grown, they are not producing any product,” explains Matt Lipscomb, CEO of DMC Bio. “Once the desired biocatalyst concentration is reached, the microbes stop growing and begin producing a desired product.” This transition is achieved by genetically engineering the microbes’ metabolic pathways with targeted proteolysis, gene silencing and other tools, such that an environmental trigger will change the expression of certain genes, shutting down those genetic elements that enable growth and expressing others that…
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