An IBioIC funded project successfully develops a new method of measuring molecules produced by bacteria.

Bacteria as factories

Ingenza, a leading Scottish advanced biotech company, is en route to a major improvement in product recovery from bacteria factories. Ingenza and the University of Strathclyde recently made several significant advances, leading to improved processes for Ingenza, and more knowledge, experience and impact for the Strathclyde researchers.

Trapped product reduces efficiency

Ingenza use E. coli bacteria to produce several biotech products, such as bioplastics, pharmaceuticals and biofuels, which are provided to market facing companies such as Lucite. A known issue with using bacteria as molecule factories is that molecules often become trapped inside the cells, making them more expensive to remove and purify. Ingenza hoped to tackle this issue by teaming up with researchers at Strathclyde University to look at a related bacterium called Pseudomonas, which expels molecules from the cell in a more efficient way.

Pinpointing the code for efflux

The team developed an exciting new system to locate the parts of the genetic code that help the bacteria expel their product. Scientists sequentially deleted sections of this code and measured the effects on efflux providing clues to improve product recovery in future.

A strong collaboration is formed

The success of this project has led to a long lasting relationship between researchers at Ingenza, Lucite and the University of Strathclyde. The team have hired an IBioIC PhD student to continue the work and have applied for further funding from the BBSRC.

Bacteria are revolutionising the way we produce a wide range of products, from plastics and packaging to drugs and fuels. They are sustainable and ecological, reducing our over-reliance on typical chemical processing. The health of Scotland’s biotech industry and sustainable use of our planet’s resources relies on projects such as this one to advance these biological technologies, ensuring green solutions are supported for future generations to build on.



- Improved efficiency of process
- More product at a reduced cost
- A clear route to improved production, patentable bacterial strains

- A clear route to a cheaper product
- Switching over to more sustainable feedstock options

Strathclyde University
- More knowledge
- Better relationships with industry
- Proof of translational research and real-world impact


To hear more about project funding, contact projects@ibioic.com