Modeling in Biochemical Engineering


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Purpose of Conference
Conference Participants
More Information
College of Biological Sciences
Supercomputing Institute

This Conference/Workshop brought together a select group of biochemical engineers and biologists to discuss in depth the role mathematical modeling is playing in the area of biochemical engineering and how its contributions to biotechnology can be enhanced in the future. The role of mathematical modeling in firming up the foundation of biochemical engineering was reevaluated.



Purpose of Conference

The main objectives of the conference were
  1. for perusing the principal methods used to date to model biological systems, and
  2. to delineate future directions for modeling that will foster a distinctively creative role from chemical engineers in the economic exploitation of bioprocesses.

Mathematical modeling, hallmark of the engineer's modus operandi for quantitative treatment of processes, natural or otherwise, has played a relatively minor role in recent chemical engineering contributions to advances in biotechnology. While this is characteristic of systems on which fundamental understanding is pending, it is now most opportune to take serious stock of the status of modeling biological systems in order to strengthen and enhance the quantitative use of chemical engineering principles in the growth of modern biotechnology. This Conference served to discuss these issues in a workshop-type atmosphere.

The Conference also served as an occasion to honor Professor Arnold G. Fredrickson, of the University of Minnesota, for his outstanding contributions to the modeling of microbial processes.

Conference Participants

Conference Chairs:
D. Ramkrishna, Dept. Chem. Eng., Purdue Univ., USA
F. Srienc, Dept. Chem. Eng. & Matl. Sci. and BPTI, USA

Local Organization:
M.C. Flickinger, BPTI and Biochem., Univ. of Minnesota, USA
W.-S. Hu, Dept. Chem. Eng., Univ. of Minnesota, USA
F. Srienc, Dept. Chem. Eng. & Matl. Sci. and BPTI, USA
B. Tranquillo, Dept. Chem Eng., Univ. of Minnesota, USA

Invited Participants:

S. Agathos, Univ. de Louvain, Belgium
F. Bader, AutoImmune Inc., USA
J. Bailey, Inst. fur Biotechnol, ETH Zurich, Sw itzerland
W. Bentley, Dept. Chem. Eng., University of Maryland, USA
B.C. Baltzis, Dept. Chem.Eng., New Jersey Inst. Technol., USA
R.B. Bird, Dept. Chem.Eng., Univ. of Wisconsin, USA
D. Bray, Dept. Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK
J. Broach, Dept. Molec. Biol., Princeton University, USA
L. Cazzador, University of Padua, Italy
P. Dhurjati, Dept. Chem. Eng., Univ. of Delaware, USA
M. Domach, Dept. Chem. Eng., Carnegie Mellon University, USA
A.G. Fredrickson, Dept. Chem.Eng. & Matl. Sci., Univ. of Minnesota, USA
V. Hatzimanikatis, Inst. fur Biotechnol., ETH Zurich, Switzerland
M. Hjortso, Dept. Chem. Eng., Louisiana State University, USA
J.D. Keasling, Dept. Chem. Eng., UC Berkeley, USA
D. Kompala, Dept. Chem. Eng., University of Colorado, USA
D. Lauffenburger, Dept. Chem. Eng., M.I.T., USA
J. Liao, Dept. Chem.Eng., Texas A & M, USA
B. Palsson, Dept. Chem.Eng., UC San Diego
A. Sambanis, Dept. Chem. Eng., Georgia Tech. University, USA
S. Shioya, Dept. Biochem.Eng., Osaka Univ., Japan
M. Shuler, Dept. Chem. Eng., Cornell University, USA
G. Stephanopoulos, Dept. Chem. Eng., M.I.T., USA
J. Tyson, Dept. Biol., Virginia Polytech. Inst. & State Univ.
J. Villadsen, Dept. of Biotechnol., Univ. of Kopenhagen, Denmark
B. Weigand, NSF, USA
K.D. Wittrup, Dept. Chem. Eng., Univ. of Illinois, USA
K. Zygourakis, Dept. Chem. Eng., Rice University, USA


Details on Conduct of Conference:
Conference themes were introduced by the listed lead-off speakers (see below). Each of them was introduced with a 20-minute presentation a broader issue for discussion. Each presentation was followed by a 10-minute discussion period. At the end of the four presentations and follow-up discussions, a further hour was available for an open discussion of all issues brought up by the lead-off speakers. During this time it was also possible for participants to state their opinion by giving short presentations (max. 5 minutes). We encouraged participants to prepare such statements on relevant issues that are considered important. We recorded the discussion sessions which helped in preparing the proceedings. The proceedings were published, together with submitted papers on modeling, in a special issue of a Biochemical Engineering Journal.

Location: The sessions will be held in 3-180 Electr.Eng./Comp.Sci. on the Minneapolis Campus.

Characterization of Biotic & Abiotic Phases
This session scoped the different variables used to characterize
(1) the biotic phase with due regard to their experimental measurement as well as their suitability to describe the physiological stateof the cell, and
(2) the abiotic phase with due regard to their experimental measurement as well as their suitability to describe the rate of change of physiological state of cells in the biotic phase.

Friday, October 11 - Co-chairs: D. Wittrup, F. Srienc
9:00-9:30 am: J. Broach: "Nutrient Sensing and Signal Processing in the Yeast Saccharomyces"
9:30-10:00 am: M. Shuler: "Single Cell Models: Promise and Limitations"
10:00-10:30 am: M. Domach: "Advances, Limits, and Needs for the Nondestructive Acquisition of State Information on the Biotic and Abiotic Phases"
10:30-10:45 am: Break
10:45-11:15 am: F. Srienc: "Cytometric Data as the Basis for Rigorous Models of Cell Populations"
11:15-12:15 pm: Discussion

Corpuscular Models of Cell Populations
This session raised issues related to corpuscular models or statistical population balance models, which account for the segregation of biomass among distinct cells (or corpuscles).

Friday, October 11 - Co-Chairs: M. Hjortso, D. Ramkrishna
2:30-3:00 pm: J. Tyson: "The Eukaryotic Cell Cycle: Molecules, Mechanisms and Mathematical Models"
3:00-3:30 pm: L. Cazzador: "Characterization of Cell Population Growth by Cell Cycle Parameters"
3:30-4:00 pm: J. Villadsen: "Population Balance Models – Where Are They Needed, and Could We Live Without Them?"
4:00-4:15 pm: Break
4:15-4:45 pm: D. Ramkrishna: "On a Concept of Self-Similar Growth"
4:45-5:45 pm: Discussion

Metabolic Models
Discussion of models accounting for internal regulation of metabolic pathways that address problems in the application of metabolic engineering.

Saturday, October 12 - Co-Chairs: P. Dhurjati, J. Villadsen
8:30-9:00 am: G. Stephanopoulos: "Use of Models for the Determination of Metabolic Fluxes and Flux Control Structure"
9:00-9:30 am: J. Liao: "Metabolic Flux Control and Modeling"
9:30-10:00 am: J. Bailey: "Modeling Metabolic Biochemistry in the Context of Cell Growth"
10:00-10:15 am: Break
10:15-10:45 am: D. Kompala: "Cybernetic Modeling of Multiple Metabolic Pathways in Saccharomyces cerevisiae"
10:45-11:45 am: Discussion

Modeling of Complex Cellular Systems
This session was devoted to modeling issues connected with complex organisms and supracellular systems.

Saturday, October 12 - Co-Chairs: K. Zygourakis, R. Tranquillo
2:00-2:30 pm: D. Bray: "Computational Cassettes in Living Cells"
2:30-3:00 pm: D. Lauffenburger: "Use of Molecular Biology for Development and Testing of Engineering Models for Cell Function"
3:00-3:30 pm: B. Palsson: "Modeling Challenges in Tissue Engineering and Complex Systems"
3:30-3:45 pm: Break
3:45-4:15 pm: W.S. Hu: "Modeling Challenges in Tissue Formation and Organ Regeneration"
4:15-5:15 pm: Discussion

Arnold G. Fredrickson was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the modeling of microbial processes.

Saturday, October 12, 6:30 - 10 p.m.
"Nature and Man-made Nature" Exhibition of selected photographs by A.G. Fredrickson
"Japanese in 30 Minutes" Robert Byron Bird


The Symposium was held on the Minneapolis Campus (3-180 Electr.Eng/Comp.Sci. Building) of the University of Minnesota. Accomodations were provided at the nearby Holiday Inn Metrodome hotel, which is an approximate 20 minute shuttle bus or cab ride from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.


We thank the National Science Foundation for granting support for this Symposium.

This Conference was made possible by the generous support from the Biological Process Technology Institute, of the University of Minnesota.

We thank the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) for the support.

We are thankful for the support from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS), of the University of Minnesota.

More Information

For more information about this symposium, contact the College of Biological Sciences


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Last modified: February 10, 1998 at 3:12 pm