In previous blogs, we compared our mission of UNLOCK (to unlock microbial potential) with the quest for a dream team, like in sports. Once a team is established, it can be mixed and matched with other teams in a modular way: Meet our Modular Bioreactor Platform!

By the UNLOCK team / June 13, 2022


Technical difficulty
Our mission to unlock microbial potential has everything to do with team play. In our very first blog in this series, we explained that the quest for a dream team can be applied to different teams, irrespective of their aim. For instance, a soccer coach is looking for different kinds of talents than the coach of a cycling team. The same principles apply to finding the right talents for your team and testing its performance, as addressed in the second and third blog. Moreover, in some cases, these dream teams can be combined sequentially. You could compare this to a relay of any combination of sports, in which every part is done by a different team.

Optimizing overall performance

In such a relay, it is more about the overall performance rather than the performance of individual teams or members. Obviously, this does not only hold true for the Modular Bioreactor Platform, but also the Parallel Cultivation Platform. The performance of a single team, however, can be a bottleneck for the overall performance. In that case, this particular team might need further optimization. Similarly, one microbial team in the experimental set-up of the Modular Bioreactor Platform may hamper the overall output. The advantage of this platform is its flexible (or modular) set-up. In other words, the order we can vary the order in which the teams operate, and adjust the conditions under which each microbial team operates, to optimize performance.

Different kinds of output

In relays, the overall output is often “time”, which means that the teams that complete their sequential order of sports the fastest, win the relay. This is not always true for the Modular Bioreactor Platform, although it can be beneficial for some applications if it doesn’t take too long. Like in the Parallel Cultivation Platform and the Biodiscovery Platform, we can monitor other experimental parameters con-line as well, including compounds produced, pH, temperature, oxygen levels, etc..
Photo of a relay race. Photo by Zach Lucero via Unsplash
Mixing and matching of microbial teams is like a relay. Photo by Zach Lucero via Unsplash

Integration with the other platforms

In this and previous blogs, we explained how each of our experimental platforms has its own approach to unlock new microbial talent. We also showed that these platforms do not operate independently, but can be combined to – ultimately – find our microbial dream team(s) of interest. You can imagine that this generates a lot of data, which needs to be processed, analyzed and adequately stored. Our fourth and final platform takes care of this: The FAIR Data Platform. You can read about this platform in our next blog.
Illustration of the Modular Bioreactor Platform. Illustrated by Haans Design.
Click the image to go to the platform page
Please share this