Topic outline

  • Welcome to Module B-Biotechnology

    In Module A you worked in a virtual reality laboratory to produce and maximize insulin production using various methods.  In Module B will continue your work in the classroom using the tools and equipment that you were introduced to in Module A. 

    In this module you and your teammates will:

    • Design a bioreactor for producing microbial proteins
    • Describe the parameters that can be altered to affect microbial growth and product formation
    • Identify methods for detecting the presence of enzymes.

  • Course Safety and Training

    Lab Safety
    Just as you did in the Technology Park, you must first be trained on safety and security before entering the biotechnology lab in your classroom. Some of the same safety procedures will apply in both laboratories. Some will differ.

    As you learned in the Technology Park, biotechnology laboratories are equipped with supplies and equipment that may pose a hazard if used carelessly and it is important that you learn how to handle them properly. It is often the responsibility of a biotechnician to make sure that safety rules are followed, and anyone working in a laboratory must pay attention to what they are doing and use common sense to avoid hazardous situations.

    Equipment and Procedures Training

    In the Technology Park, you completed an activity that required you to become familiar with the purpose and use of certain pieces of equipment in the laboratory. You must complete the same type of training in this section before moving on to the next section.

    Glossary: 1Lessons: 5Files: 3Quizzes: 2Assignment: 1Folder: 1
  • Section 1 Clarifying problems, specifications and constraints

    Research has shown that the enzyme protease holds many benefits for industry and the medical community. Your team has been hired by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to design a model that will maximize protease production with the least amount of contamination. The budget is tight and it is important that the model produces the protein quickly while still retaining its enzymatic properties. If successful, this model could be used in underdeveloped countries where supplies are limited and the technologies to produce insulin in the Technology Park are non-existent.

     Your contract requires your team to:

    1. Choose a potential benefit of a protease.
    2. Determine the optimal model organism to produce the protein.
    3. Build a bioreactor to mass produce the protein with no contamination.
    4. Successfully grow the organism.
    5. Isolate the protein of interest.
    6. Test for the presence and activity of the protein using a variety of assays.
    7. Create a report for NIH Evaluation and determination of a future grant for further investigation in the amount of 1.2 million dollars.

    In addition to the task above, it is also important to the NIH that potential funding only go to team’s that display solid work ethics. Work ethics maintained in a work environment allows for a more productive, efficient, and reliable team. A member of the NIH team will randomly check in on team members to evaluate their work ethics using the Work Ethics Evaluation Rubric. This form will be kept in your personal file and will be used in your final evaluation for this project.

    Assignment: 1Files: 2Folder: 1
  • Section 2 Research and Investigate

    Informed Design follows the traditional design process, but uses guided research and investigation to build your knowledge and skills required for the bioreactor design. They will assist you in learning key concepts in mathematics, science and engineering/technology that are related to the bioreactor design challenge.

    Your team will have a lot of decisions to make over the next few days. Below are just a few:

    • What organism will we use?
    • How will we ensure it survives?
    • How much will it cost?
    • How will I test for protease?

    Several lessons and KSBs (Knowledge and Skill Builders) have been provided below to guide your thinking, but ultimately your team should refer to any reliable source to make determinations. If you are unsure of a site's legitimacy ask your instructor or librarian. A good rule of thumb is to only use websites that end in edu, org or gov. 

    Throughout your research, you and your team should be sure to record daily activities in your Engineering Design Journal (EDJ) using guidelines. 

    KSB worksheets should be completed and submitted via your teachers instructions.

    Glossary: 1Lessons: 3Assignments: 4Quiz: 1File: 1Folder: 1
  • Section 3 Generate Designs

    Generating Designs

    In this phase, your team will work on creating a variety of bioreactor designs.  The  ideas can be totally different, or they can be improvements to your first idea. There is almost always more than one solution to a design problem, and good designers are rarely satisfied with the first idea that pops into their minds. You can suggest several ideas—each one of which might do the job—but try hard to think about better ways.  

    Glossary: 1Lesson: 1Assignments: 3Quiz: 1File: 1Folder: 1
  • Section 4 Choose and Justify the Optimal Solution

    Now that your team has generated several ideas, it is time to identify strengths and weaknesses of each design to eventually produce a final sketch of your team's bioreactor.

    For the alternatives that remain, list their strengths and weaknesses in relation to the design criteria. To make your decisions, you might have to do more research, testing each alternative and gathering data about its performance. These test results must be recorded and compared with results from other tests, so that fair and accurate decisions can be made about which solution is best.

    Sometimes, the testing will suggest that, if you change one alternative slightly, or combine two or more alternatives, you will end up with a better solution. The design improvements can lead to better performance, increased safety, and lower cost. In this phase, the design is critically examined by noting how other designs perform to see how it can be improved.

    Assignment: 1
  • Section 5 Developing a Prototype

    Develop a Prototype

    At the end of this lesson, you should be able to draft an initial prototype for a bioreactor design and begin the building process.

    Glossary: 1Lesson: 1Assignments: 2Files: 2
  • Section 6 Test and Evaluate

    In Lesson 3, we identified two variables that would be important for the successful marketing of your product. Each of these variables has been discussed in detail in Lesson 3. Please return to this lesson to review is needed. This lesson focuses on preparing mediums needed to test for these variables.

    1. Maintain Growth
    2. Increase Protease Activity
    3. Monitor Contamination

    Glossary: 1Lessons: 3Assignments: 7Quiz: 1Folder: 1File: 1
  • Section 7 Redesigning the Solution

    Redesigning the Solution

    Compare your results with other teams in your class to generate ideas about how to improve your design and increase protease production.

    Glossary: 1Lesson: 1Assignments: 2File: 1Folder: 1
  • Section 8 Communicating Your Achievements

    As a team, you will gather the products, designs and team skills you have used over the past weeks and communicate what you have learned.

    Glossary: 1Lesson: 1Files: 4Assignments: 2Folder: 1
  • Extended Learning Applications

    Glossary: 1Lessons: 3Assignments: 3Forum: 1Folder: 1