Illustrating bioseparations using colorful proteins

Brian Lefebvre, Stephanie Farrell, C. Stewart Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The field of chemical engineering is undergoing a rapid change. Advances in biology are prompting new discoveries in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical technology, and chemical industries. Developing commercial-scale processes based on these advances requires that new chemical engineers clearly understand the biochemical principles behind the technology, in addition to developing a firm grasp of chemical engineering principles.1 To ensure that chemical engineering students are prepared to contribute to these expanding industries, this project will incorporate hands-on and visually appealing experiments using colorful proteins to teach biochemical engineering and bioseparation principles. The project consists of eight modules that introduce students to multidisciplinary engineering principles through the production and purification of colorful proteins. The project adapts experiments from the biochemistry and molecular biology education literature by expanding the scope from one colorful protein to many. Four colorful proteins with different physical properties will be mixed and separated using a variety of chromatography and membrane separations, which will illustrate the basis of bioprocess design. To maximize student interest and learning, this material will be implemented in a hands-on and visually appealing format exemplifying the "hands-on / minds-on" approach to engineering education. The engineering goals of this project are: to explore bioseparation techniques to expose students to bioprocess design principles to study the performance of bioseparation processes using engineering principles to evaluate factors influencing the performance of bioseparation processes To date, work has focused on two chromatographic separation techniques. Learning modules on these two techniques will be presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2008Jun 24 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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