High-Speed Precision Fermentation:
ONE MILLION TIMES FASTER
Our unique research approach
We use a high-throughput screening process that was developed and commercialized by two of our founders, René Pellaux and Andreas Meyer, and can screen millions of microorganisms "at once".
The success is based on two expensive pieces of technical equipment, the Nano-Encapsulator and the COPAS and the researchers René Pellaux and Andreas Meyer, who developed the process on how to work with them one million times faster. René and Andreas are some of the world’s best biotechnologists and have extensive experience with both high-throughput research methods as well as proteins and vitamin B12 producing microorganisms. Therefore, we are in a priviledged position to develop the high-yield results necessary for large scale food and supplement manufacturing.
While traditional biotechnological research is carried out in microwell plates where each microorganism is cultivated in a separate well, we use a Nano-Encapsulator with which we can encapsulate about one million microorganisms per day into small beads (the size of some nanoliter fraction) - and work with all of them all "at once".
COPAs - Analyze one million microorganisms at once
Once the one million microorganisms are encapsulated, we can then work with them all at once, in a simultaneous and high-speed analysis. We do this with the COPAS, a Complex Organism and Particle Analyzer and Sorter, that can analyze and sort more than one million microorganism samples per day. Despite working with a one-million sample, we will be able to identify desirable characteristics in every single microorganism and thus pick the best performing ones to go on to the scaled-up production phase.
Why we are one million times faster:
Our ReseaRch process in detail
We have some of the word's best biotechnologists, who have extensive experience working with proteins and vitamin B12 and who developed our high-throughput research method using the very specialized equipment of the Nano-Encapsulator and the COPAS.
Here is the QL advantage and success equation :
BEST SCIENTISTS + HIGH-THROUGHPUT PROCESS + EQUIPMENT = ONE MILLION TIMES FASTER!
We start with a library of microorganisms that we want to analyze. These may be obtained from a DNA strain collection or taken directly from nature.
Here, the first magic happens: Instead of placing each microorganism in its own slot in a wellplate, we use a Nano-Encapsulator to encapsulate each single microorganism in its own little pretty bead. We call this his little nanoliter reactor, or for short, NLR.
Grow in Nanoliter reactors
Now that we have given each microorganism its own home, its own nanoliter reactor, it is happy to start to grow.
Cultivation & Growth
Now, we feed the organisms what they like best to make them grow.
Of course we already know their favorite nutrient and their preferred living conditions so they will grow quickly.
Our goal: We want to identify the fast-growers/best producers!
To be able to measure what we want - for example how much Vitamin B12 that the microorganism produces - we use a standard method in biotechnolgical research called phenotypic assay. This means adding a marker to the microorganism that we can screen mechanically. In our case, we use fluorescent amino acids that actually look very cool!
Now we are able to distinguish the good microorganisms from the bad ones: We can assess how much Vitamin B12 or protein that a microorganism produces and therefore we can do the cherry picking, and get ready for the second bit of magic!
COPAS: Analyze and sort
Here, the second magic happens, our high-throughput COPAS (Complex Organism and Particle Analyzer and Sorter) can analyze and sort more than one million microorganism samples per day.
And even more: it does not just sort and analyze them but it identifies every single one of the good ones! This allows us to easily select the X best ones out of a sample of one million!
identify and characterize
Once we have identified the good and high-performing microorganisms, we want to "free" them from their cosy NLR home such that we can continue to work with them. As with every liberation, this is not so easy, but our professionals know the trick!
Iterate and improve
Now that we have identified and characterised our best-performers, we will take this sample and continue working with them. So we will alter the original strain by letting natural mutagenesis to happen - or we help nature a little bit by speeding up the mutagenesis.
With this new sample, we start the very same process again until we have a super high-performing strain.
The people behind QL
We have two of the world's leading biotech scientists Andreas Meyer and René Pellaux driving our research. We are proud that we can work with them and a large network of researchers in the USA and Switzerland, Protein Engineering Specialists from leading Universities and a dedicated Team of Dairy Food Technologists and Researchers in Switzerland.
The research team is lead by our seasoned entrepreneurial team that has a lot of Food Innovation and Commercial Experience. Read more about our dedicated team.
Read more about how we developed a unique precision fermentation process to produce a powder form
of dairy proteins - without needing a cow. *MAGIC*
Read more about some of the complexities of climate change and how we are skipping the cow in the global food supply chain and greatly reducing our dependency on traditional animal agriculture and massively reducing GHG emissions - all while continuing to produce dairy proteins with high-quality nutritional value
Learn More About What We are Doing and Why