The Cell as a Factory


Recommended prerequisite for participation in the module

The module builds on knowledge gained in Biological production, Biomass conversion, Biomolecules, Biochemistry I or similar

Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

The purpose of the module is to give a fundamental insight into the organization of the biochemistry on the cellular level and how and when this can be exploited in microbial fermentations.

The project is partially practical including work with one or more cell types (prokaryotic or eukaryotic) in fermentation experiments, where the dynamics and regulation of the cells are investigated.

The project is closely associated to the parallel course in biochemistry, and the fermentation experiments are analyzed based upon the metabolism and known pathways of the cells

An introduction to analytical chemistry relevant to the project (HPLC, GC, etc. ) is given.

Learning objectives


Students who have passed the module

  • Can account for biochemical synthesis pathways that can lead to the production of defined products in the project
  • Can account for how biochemical synthesis pathways can be up-regulated for an efficient production of selected products
  • Have an overview of the significance of pathway engineering on energy balances in cells designed to produce selected products
  • Understand bioinformatic and modeling tools for the development of cell factories
  • Can account for microbial growth conditions, microbial growth and how this is affected by temperature and pH and how this can be exploited for microbial production
  • Can account for the structure, biological function and use of enzymes and enzyme-catalyzed processes


  • Can plan and perform experiments relevant to the project of the course
  • Can account for production, development and harvest of microbial metabolites and industrial enzymes in bacteria, yeast and filamentous fungi and the development of recombinant production strains


  • Can use the project work as a study form including the presented methods for organization of the group collaboration and solving of group conflicts
  • Can analyze own learning process
  • Can organize group work and collaborate with supervisors
  • Can communicate the results and processes of the project in a structured and understandable way, in writing, graphically and orally

Type of instruction

Project work

Extent and expected workload

450 hours



Name of examThe Cell as a Factory
Type of exam
Oral exam based on a project
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingExternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Facts about the module

Danish titleCellen som fabrik
Module codeK-BBT-B4-11
Module typeProject
Duration1 semester
Language of instructionEnglish
Empty-place SchemeYes
Location of the lectureCampus Copenhagen
Responsible for the module
Time allocation for external examinersB


Education ownerBachelor of Science (BSc) in Engineering (Sustainable Biotechnology)
Study BoardStudy Board of Chemistry and Bioscience
DepartmentDepartment of Chemistry and Bioscience
FacultyThe Faculty of Engineering and Science