What is Biochemical engineering? | Q & A

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Nisar Kasai
Nisar Kasai May 3
I want to know Definition and history of that.
Simple Engineer

Biochemical engineering is a branch of engineering that applies engineering principles and techniques to the fields of biotechnology and biochemistry. It involves the design, development, and optimization of processes and technologies for the production of biological products, pharmaceuticals, and biochemicals.

Biochemical engineers work in various industries, including biopharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food and beverage, agriculture, and environmental engineering. They are involved in a wide range of activities, including:

  1. Bioprocess Development:

    • Designing and optimizing bioprocesses for the production of biological products such as therapeutic proteins, vaccines, antibiotics, and enzymes.
    • Developing fermentation, cell culture, and downstream purification processes.
  2. Bioreactor Design:

    • Designing bioreactors and fermentation systems for the cultivation of microorganisms, animal cells, and plant cells.
    • Optimizing bioreactor performance, including temperature, pH, oxygenation, and agitation.
  3. Biocatalysis and Enzyme Technology:

    • Using enzymes and microorganisms as biocatalysts for chemical transformations and synthesis reactions.
    • Developing enzyme immobilization techniques and biocatalytic processes.
  4. Bioseparation and Purification:

    • Developing separation and purification processes for the isolation and purification of biological products.
    • Using techniques such as chromatography, filtration, centrifugation, and membrane separation.
  5. Biomedical Engineering:

    • Applying engineering principles to the design and development of medical devices, diagnostics, and therapeutic treatments.
    • Developing biomaterials, tissue engineering scaffolds, and drug delivery systems.
  6. Environmental Biotechnology:

    • Using biotechnological processes for environmental remediation, waste treatment, and pollution control.
    • Developing bioremediation, biofiltration, and biodegradation technologies.

Following are the Key Events of emerging this field

Several key events have shaped the research and development of biochemical engineering over the years. Here are some significant milestones:

  1. Discovery of Penicillin (1928):

    • Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin marked the beginning of the antibiotic era and revolutionized the treatment of bacterial infections.
    • The mass production of penicillin during World War II demonstrated the potential of fermentation technology for the production of pharmaceuticals.
  2. Development of Recombinant DNA Technology (1970s):

    • The discovery of recombinant DNA technology, also known as genetic engineering, allowed scientists to manipulate and engineer DNA sequences.
    • This breakthrough led to the development of biopharmaceuticals such as insulin, growth hormones, and monoclonal antibodies.
  3. Commercialization of Biotechnology (1980s):

    • The commercialization of biotechnology in the 1980s led to the establishment of the biotechnology industry and the rapid growth of biopharmaceuticals.
    • Advances in bioprocess engineering and bioreactor technology enabled the large-scale production of biopharmaceuticals.
  4. Human Genome Project (1990-2003):

    • The completion of the Human Genome Project provided a comprehensive map of the human genome and accelerated research in genomics and proteomics.
    • This led to the discovery of new drug targets and the development of personalized medicine and gene therapies.
  5. Emergence of Synthetic Biology (2000s):

    • The emergence of synthetic biology as a field allowed scientists to design and engineer biological systems for specific applications.
    • Synthetic biology has led to the development of new bioproducts, biofuels, and biomaterials with applications in healthcare, agriculture, and industry.
  6. Advances in CRISPR-Cas9 Technology (2010s):

    • The development of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology revolutionized the field of molecular biology and genetic engineering.
    • CRISPR-Cas9 has enabled precise and efficient genome editing and has opened up new possibilities for gene therapy and genetic engineering.

These key events have driven research and innovation in biochemical engineering and have contributed to advancements in biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, and bio-based industries. They have also led to the development of new bioproducts, pharmaceuticals, and biochemicals with applications in healthcare, agriculture, and environmental sustainability.