Course Title: BIOEN 467 – Biochemical Engineering (CHEM E – 467)

 UW General Catalog Course Description; Application of basic chemical engineering principles to biochemical and biological process industries such as fermentation, enzyme technology, and biological waste treatment. Rapid overview of relevant microbiology, biochemistry, and molecular genetics. Design and analysis of biological reactors and product recovery operations.

Instructor: Baneyx, François

Instructor’s Course Description: The first part of the course introduces engineering students with little background in biology to fundamentals of biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics with an emphasis on the production of recombinant proteins and small metabolites. The second part of the course focuses on biochemical engineering aspects and covers sterilization, chemostat theory, bioreactor instrumentation, mass transfer effects in immobilized systems and protein purification.

Prerequisites: CHEM E 340; either CHEM 223, CHEM 237, or CHEM 335; recommended: CHEM E 465.

Textbook: None – notes and web-based reading provided at

Course Objectives:

  • Understand and use basic biology, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics principles
  • Apply kinetics and reactor theory to biological systems and processes
  • Learn unit operations used in the recovery of biological products

Topics covered:

  1. Microbial diversity, basic biology
  2. Carbohydrates, lipids
  3. Proteins, enzymes and enzymatic kinetics
  4. Nucleic acids
  5. Gene expression and regulation
  6. Mutations
  7. Genetic engineering
  8. Energetics and stoichiometry
  9. Sterilization
  10. Cell growth
  11. Chemostat theory and bioreactor design
  12. Immobilized cells and enzymes
  13. Biosensors
  14. Product recovery.

Class schedule: Lectures:  1hr 20min each; class meets twice a week

Computer Use: Homework Assignments; readings and tutorials require access to online sources including Cells Alive and research laboratory sites.

Outcomes Addressed by this Course:

E. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.

  • Course presents various industrial scale aspects of molecular biology in lectures, homework, and exams requiring students to combine their knowledge of biology with reactor design, kinetics and product recovery to design real scale engineered systems.

F. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.

  • Future professional and ethical issues related to each scientific topic covered will also be discussed briefly in lecture; certain homework assignments will reinforce the need to recognize professional responsibilities.

H. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of an engineering solution in a global and societal context.

  • The impact of molecular biotechnology issues on a local and global scale will be discussed briefly in appropriate lectures; certain homework assignments will reinforce the need to consider political/societal aspects of certain biotechnologies.

J. A knowledge of contemporary issues.

  • By the basic subject matter of the course, each topic will be timely. Homework exercises to locate lay newspaper articles or popular scientific magazine articles related to class topics.

L. An understanding of biology and physiology.

  • The entire course comprises contemporary topics in bioengineering aspect of molecular biology. Acquisition of this information will be reinforced by homework assignments and retention determined by strategic questions on exams.

Relationship of Course to Departmental Objectives: Integrating biological fundamentals and engineering practice is accomplished throughout the course by specific lectures, homework problems employing material balance and mass transfer mathematics, computer simulations, and case study journal article critiques. This course contributes to the following objectives:

  • Earn advanced degrees and/or obtain employment in bioengineering-related fields such as medicine, device development, or biotechnology.
  • Contribute to responsible development of new technical knowledge.

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