Conservation of resources and creating more efficient material flows are the current challenges facing the economy and technological development. Particularly in the field of health, a sufficient and cost-effective availability of high-quality synthetic products is an important basis for progress. For instance, highly complex proteinogenic active ingredients are the basis for vaccine and antibody development. But in food technology as well as in the agricultural, cosmetics and detergent industries, requirements are continuously increasing on enzymes, complex peptides and proteins or on synthetic biomolecules in general.
Currently, these substances are often manufactured with the help of living cells or organisms. However, these systems are subject to considerable limitations. A large material and energy input must be spent to maintain the metabolism of the microorganisms or cell cultures themselves, thus limiting the cost effectiveness of this approach. In addition, many metabolites and final products are toxic, or have a toxic effect on cells or organisms in higher concentrations necessary for economical production . Therefore many important substances cannot be manufactured at all or only in small quantities.
The development of cell-free production of high-quality biomolecules offers completely new possibilities. The exclusive use of subcelluar components of the organisms necessary for the synthesis makes it possible to efficiently produce biomolecules with complex and also completely new characteristics in suitable reaction environments. The technologies established at the Golm site allow an economically efficient use of these processes, thereby creating a new foundation for the economic production of active proteins.
The department's extremophile research is engaged with cold-adapted snow algae. We focus on their use for extracting high-quality substances such as antioxidants or fatty acids. Accompanying product-optimised photobioreactors are also being developed. The culture collection CCCryo is a unique bio-resource that can be used by interested academic and private enterprise groups.