Synthetic biology can be defined as the artificial (re)design of biological components and/or systems for practical applications. The technology is routed in the field of genetic engineering but draws inspiration from a variety of disciplines, such as biotechnology, chemistry, and even computer sciences. In that light, three research groups of Ghent University have decided to join forces and establish the multidisciplinary Centre for Synthetic Biology (CSB). Their common goal is to develop new processes for the production of value-added compounds, with emphasis on tailor-made carbohydrates, flavonoids and glycolipids.
The group of Prof. Desmet specializes in the semi-rational design of new enzymes. They create improved biocatalysts to enable more efficient pathways or to gain access to alternative products. These enzymes can also be used in vitro to replace traditional chemical synthesis. More...
The group of Prof. De Mey specializes in the manipulation of cellular pathways. They develop novel tools for genetic engineering and apply these to microbial hosts. In that way, so-called designer bugs are created for the conversion of renewable resources into useful products. More...
Membrane transport engineering
crossing the barrier
The group of Prof. Van Bogaert specializes in facilitating transport across cellular membranes. Understanding and exploiting the mechanisms by which molecules are transported in and out of cells is essential for the intensification of new processes in the field of synthetic biology. More...
Microbial fermentation - up to 30L with complete process control and data acquisition
Enzyme production - cloning and recombinant expression in E. coli or Pichia pastoris
Biosurfactant production - various (modified) glycolipids with Starmorella bombicola
Carbohydrate production - custom synthesis of special sugars and derivatives at gram scale
Carbohydrate analysis - with chromatographic (HPAEC-PAD) and/or spectroscopic techniques
Biocatalytic application - implementation of (commercial) enzymes in chemical synthesis