Microalgae biotechnology holds tremendous potential for countless industries and products, thanks to microalgae’s impressive biochemical diversity, sophisticated biosynthesis machinery, and rapid growth rates, among other functional attributes. Importantly, photosynthetic microalgae species can also turn CO2 into valuable and in-demand biomolecules, providing the life science community with a powerful mechanism for adopting more sustainable biomanufacturing processes and reducing carbon footprint.
Provectus Algae has built an end-to-end biomanufacturing platform capable of taking microalgae-based products from discovery to large-scale production, actualizing the full potential of microalgae biotechnology. Through our talented multidisciplinary team, we have brought together the combined strengths of advanced automation, machine learning, and synthetic biology to rapidly build scalable algae production systems and source high-value compounds for our partners.
Learn about the critical components of Provectus Algae’s one-of-a-kind microalgae biomanufacturing platform and its product development benefits below.
Though the intrinsic value of microalgae biotechnology has long been appreciated, its industrial applications remain restricted. Historically, limited research infrastructure and technical issues with large-scale microalgae production prevented their use in a broader selection of enterprises. To solve the commercial challenges associated with microalgae biomanufacturing, Provectus Algae has brought together unique disciplines to streamline microalgae biotechnology product development. Our biomanufacturing platform relies on a number of fully integrated technologies to deliver photosynthetic bioprocesses at scale.
Tapping photosynthesis for industrial purposes lies at the heart of making sustainable biomanufacturing a commercial reality. A cornerstone of our approach is our proprietary Precision Photosynthesis™ technology. Light is vitally important to photosynthetic microalgae gene regulation and survival. With Precision Photosynthesis™, we can tune gene expression to better optimize cellular growth and biomanufacturing productivity using highly exact light regimes. As a result, we can use light to control microalgae biology and hone the production of high-value molecules from any species.
There is probably no greater challenge to biotechnology and synthetic biology companies than successfully reaching industrial biomanufacturing scales. In many ways, bioprocess scalability is THE hurdle that prevents incredible concepts, novel molecular products, and groundbreaking technologies from hitting the market. To minimize this historic challenge, our engineering team developed and validated bespoke algae production systems from the ground up, leaning heavily on our microalgae cultivation expertise. By nesting original hardware in a bed of automated workflows and our fit-to-purpose software, Provectus Algae can provide a complete supply of biomanufacturing technology, optimize bioprocess conditions, and overcome scale-up challenges to execute unmatched production timelines.
Advanced digitalization is rapidly changing the landscape of the life sciences. It’s no longer enough to rely on human intelligence to efficiently commercialize biomanufactured products. Increasingly, advanced bioprocessing systems include artificial intelligence and machine learning to handle the most data-intensive and manual workflows. Taking the principles of Industry 4.0 to heart, Provectus Algae is developing a range of software solutions to streamline our biomanufacturing platform. In addition to building scalable infrastructure to collect, organize, and store massive amounts of data, Provectus Algae uses cloud computing, machine learning, and cyber physical systems for product discovery, cellular analytics, and bioprocess optimization. These software solutions work seamlessly with our in-house hardware, helping to bring high-throughput bioprospecting, automated bioprocesses, and cloud-controlled facilities online.
Gaps remain in the ability to express recombinant gene products using traditional biomanufacturing chassis, like E. coli, S. cerevisiae, or mammalian cells. Microalgae hold the potential to fill some key gaps and act as a complementary biomanufacturing chassis. Yet, unlike other chassis, microalgae lack a highly-developed research foundation to lean on so as to improve its use as a synthetic biology tool. To overcome this, Provectus Algae devotes significant resources to further develop specific species as cellular chassis through exploration of genetic engineering approaches, rational vector design, optimization of target gene expression, bioinformatics, and beyond.
While some microalgae species have been successfully cultivated at relevant commercial scales, they represent a tiny fraction of the many thousands of unique species. Within those underexplored microalgae lies tremendous commercial potential for high-value biobased chemicals, specialty ingredients, and biologics.
Tapping the massive metabolic diversity of the many microalgae species requires us to understand their basic biology and ideal growing conditions. To expand the use of many underutilized species, we are building a microalgae library, complete with genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, and phenomic investigations. Our multi-omics-based library approach and bioinformatics will enable us to unravel valuable mysteries specific to each unique species, including optimal growth conditions and metabolites. In doing so, we can perform bioprospecting to identify candidate species in silico that may naturally produce target molecules and precursors. Alternatively, we can use this database to identify species best suited for genetic engineering and recombinant gene expression approaches to increase target productivity.
Enabling Speed-to-Market, Sustainable Biomanufacturing, & Product Flexibility Through Innovative Microalgae Biotechnology
Together these multidisciplinary technologies work in concert to deliver an end-to-end biomanufacturing platform with unique commercial advantages.