Team:UNIK Copenhagen

Welcome to the Wiki of Copenhagen University's iGEM Team:


The 2016 winners of the Nordic Mini-Jamboree!

Project Description

Our project consists to put into application a newly developed coculturing system combining the properties of microalgae (cyanobacterium) and a bacterium to efficiently harvest sunlight to produce essential compounds like biopharmaceutical, vitamins or plastics for 3D printing. The development of better ways to exploit sunlight in the production of biomaterials can lead to more sustainable and diverse production methods, and to life essential onsite production in remote areas like a Moon or Mars base. To perform lab work for our project, we have been granted permission to work in GMO Class II laboratory allocated at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN) at the Faculty of Science, Frederiksberg Campus, UCPH. Furthermore, we will be working closely with the Head of Copenhagen Plant Science Center (CPSC) Professor Poul Erik Jensen and Associate Professor Sotirios Kampranis from the Section of Plant Biochemistry. Additionally, to provide extra knowledge within astrobiology and astrophysics, we are collaborating with Master student Christina Toldbo who is specializing in Space exploration at the University of Stuttgärt, Germany and Associate Professor Morten Bo Madsen from the Section of Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences, UCPH.

The design and characterization of a co-culture system has been done before, even in iGEM. However, to our knowledge, no one has yet to design a modular co-culture system for bioproduction of chemical compounds in space. We will make a proof of concept, by designing such a bioprocessing system and optimizing it for future space mission in the Jens Martin Mars Chamber at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen. We ultimately wish to supply the International Space Station and future Moon or Mars bases with more flexible bioreactors consisting of interchangeable cartridges allowing for onsite production of bioplastics and pharmaceutical compounds all from the same biological system.