In the ATEP Biotechnology Simulations the learner experiences how the fields of biotechnology and engineering merge together through solving problem-based design challenges situated in the workplace setting of a biotechnology production facility.
In parallel with the sims, the learner applies what they learned in the sim to design, build and test a fully functional bioreactor which can be used to mass produce medicines or generate alternative fuels.
Statement of the Problem
Traditional pharmaceuticals used to treat diabetic patients require the pancreas from 70 pigs or 14 cows to provide seven to ten pounds of pancreas, to purify enough insulin for one year’s treatment for a single diabetic. Although this technique has proven to be effective in most individuals, some have had adverse reactions to animal-based insulin (for example, fever and painful abscesses, which overshadow any benefit). There is also a concern of how long this supply will be able to meet the growing population of diabetic individuals. In addition, harvesting of animal insulin is a very expensive business.
As a team, you will undertake two experimental explorations to production of insulin for human usage. The first method studied will be the extraction of insulin from animal pancreases. In the second method, your team will design and build a recombinant plasmid that can express an insulin protein capable of lowering blood sugar in diabetic patients.
Once you have completed both experimental explorations, you will compare the yield of insulin, as well as the time taken, and then make a recommendation as to which method should be used for large scale production of insulin for human usage.
|Watch a tutorial video for the Session 1 Demo
[Opens in a new window - 9:22 minutes]
|Play the Demo: Session 1 - Orientation Training
[Opens in a new window - uses Unity Web Player]
- Discover how science, technology and engineering come together to help solve problem.
- Explore different fields of biotechnology and its applications in your life.
- Review basic biology and engineering principles.
- Create an artificial source of insulin using biotechnology and engineering techniques.
- Work as a team to design, build, test and evaluate a bioreactor.
- Experience what it is like work as a biotechnician.
- Use technology to solve problems.
- Students will investigate and report on the history of engineering science related to biomanufacturing.
- Students describe the inputs, processes, and outputs associated with biomanufacturing technological systems.
- Students will discuss how biomanufacturing technological systems interact to achieve common goals.
- Students will explain present research and hypothesize about emerging innovative technologies in biomanufacturing.
- Students will describe the processes for production of an individual product.
- Students demonstrate written, and electronic communication skills related to biotechnology production.
- Students will demonstrate the skills used in biomanufacturing and biotechnology research.
- Students will demonstrate appropriate workplace safety skills and recognize common laboratory hazards.
- Students will display productive work habits associated with biomanufacturing protocols.
Module A – Biotechnology by Design
Solving Problems with Technology, Engineering, and Science
- Technology, Engineering and Science
- Solving Problems with Biotechnology
Your Biotechnology Problem
- Design Process
What is Biotechnology?
- Myth vs Fact
- Biotechnology Through Time
- Types of Biotechnology
What Do Biotechnologists Do and Where Do They Work?
- What Do People Do in Biotechnology?
- Where Do They Work?
- A Day in the Life of a Protein
- Beginnings of Recombinant DNA Technology
Going to Market
- Regulating the Biotechnology Industry
- Product Testing and Clinical Trials
Product Redesign and Maximizing Product Production
- Advances in Cloning Technology and Redesign of Insulin
- Maximizing Insulin Production
- Retesting and Commercialization of Insulin
Module B – Applications of Biotechnology
Working in the Laboratory
- Basic Techniques
Building Your Bioreactor
- Assessing Your Tech Park Plans
- Refining Your Design
- Recombinant DNA Techniques in the Lab
- Preparing and Inoculating Your Media
- Monitoring Growth
- Optimizing Growth Conditions
- Harvesting Your Culture
- Purifying Your Product
- Testing Your Product
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