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A Low-Cost, Highly Scalable Continuous Culture System for Rapid Optimization and Precise Tuning of Gut Microbial Formulations

Ahmad Khalil of Boston University in the U.S. will develop a low-cost bioreactor platform to simultaneously optimize growth conditions of multiple bacterial species for large scale production of biotherapeutics. The human gut microbiome plays an essential role in health and development and living microbial biotherapeutics could be an effective treatment in the case of damage by illness or malnutrition. Commercial production is limited by the capacity of bioreactors, which are costly and challenging to scale and relatively inflexible. Using their eVOLVER continuous culture system, which is modular, inexpensive, and highly scalable, they will adapt the set-up and optimize protocols to allow for the management of unique growth conditions for individual species in parallel, and dynamic mixing of cultures from individual pools to precisely tune multi-species formulations. They will conduct full-scale tests to evaluate their approach for optimizing production of human gut microbiota.

More information about New Approaches for Manufacturing Gut Microbial Biotherapeutics (Round 22)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.