Student Profile

Dan Curry

Programmed Nutrition for Cell Production

PhD Supervisor(s): Prof Nick Medcalf and Dr Sourav Ghosh


PhD Summary

It is normal practice in the manufacture of therapeutic proteins (a more mature industry than regenerative medicine) to establish a preferred nutritional regime early in development in order to maximise productivity and to control cell behaviour. The regime includes a degree of feedback. This can be regarded as programmed nutrition. By contrast normal cell- and tissue-culture practice is to adopt an invariant medium formulation for most of the culture period. Programmed nutrition employs modulated composition of the medium over time in order to maximise productivity of the desired material; in the case of regenerative medicine this will comprise cells of the desired phenotpe. Programmed nutrition can be applied using real-time control methods to give flexibe yet robust methods of production. Metabolic flux analysis, a complement to this form of control, was highlighted as a potential tool for design and control of RM production as far back as 1999. It has since been applied by centres such as the Tissue and MEtabolic Engineering Laboratry at Tufts University to find ways of understanding microbial and mammalian cell behaviour in process. The approach has come of age. The project forms a part of the stratergy for the Centre and will be directly supervised by the EPSRC Manufacturing Fellow (NM).

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