Fermentation chemistry and biotechnology

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The Chemistry and Fermentation Biotechnology course aims to provide at the students the concepts necessary to understand the principles that regulate the fermentation processes in the production of natural or biotechnological products. Through the description and in-depth analysis of some processes aimed to the production of drugs, the course also aims to provide students with the necessary elements to understand the critical issues found in the process scale-up and in product development.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students will have to demonstrate that they have acquired and understood all the notions necessary to prepare a biotechnological process starting from the selection of the strain, to the study of the biosynthetic pathway, to the strains improvement up to the process setting up. Thanks to the notions provided in the lectures, the students will be able to independently analyze the critical points of the process. In the learning verification phase, students must also be able to correctly understand the questions, to choose, elaborate and connect the knowledges acquired in both course modules.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
The lessons scheduled for the second semester will be held synchronously using the Microsoft Teams Platform. If the regulations concerning social distancing allow it and if classrooms are available, part of the lessons will be held in person, guaranteeing participation even for students not present in the classroom through connection with the Microsoft Teams Platform. The methods and criteria for participating in face-to-face lessons will be published on the Ariel pages of the teaching as well as notices relating to any update related to the evolution of the legislation imposed by Covid-19.The recording of the lessons and the material used during the lessons will be made available on the Microsoft Teams Platform, to allow their use in asynchronous mode.
Program and reference material.
The program and reference material will not change
Methods for verifying learning and evaluation criteria.
As in the past, the exam will take place in oral form and, where the regulations allow it, in presence. In the latter case, students unable to reach the classroom will have the option of taking the exam remotely. Remote exams will be carried out using the Microsoft Teams Platform, in the manner illustrated on the University portal (https://www.unimi.it/en/node/121/). Students enrolled in the exam will be sent by e-mail all the information necessary for taking the exam.
Course syllabus
In details, the following topics will be discussed:1. Primary and secondary metabolism: physiological role, correlation with primary metabolism, biosynthesis of peptides and poliketides, gene clusters, regulation of the pathway. Microorganisms producing metabolites of agri-food and pharmaceutical interest
2.Bioprocess scale-up: colture media, bioreactors, batch, fed-batch and continuous processes and products recovery
3. Bioprocesses in agro-food and pharmaceutical: aminoacids and organic acids, enzymes, antibiotics, statins and antitumoral production.
4. Recombinant proteins production: host cell compatibility in protein expression. Industrial production of insulin. Strategies for improving Productivity.
Prerequisites for admission
To adequately address the contents of the course it is necessary that the student has the basic knowledge of Microbiology and Biochemistry.
Teaching methods
The course includes lectures.
Teaching Resources
- Suggested text-books: Stefano Donadio, Gennaro Marino "Biotecnologie Microbiche" Casa Editrice Ambrosiana.
- Power point presentations of the lessons, as pdf file, are available on the Ariel Platform.
- The bibliography is reported on the material made available
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consist in a oral discussion on the topics of the course. In order to pass the exam, the student must answer to all questions demonstrating a sufficient level of preparation. The evaluation will take into consideration the student's ability to correctly understand the questions and chose, elaborate and interconnect the information and knowledge acquired during the course, using an appropriate scientific language. The score is expressed in thirtieths.
Lessons: 32 hours