UNIFERTEX A universal fermenter for growing micro-organisms
In order to study and optimize the culture of microorganisms that are a source of valuable molecules in pharmacy, cosmetics and nutrition, Pierre Guérin and the CNRS have developed a universal fermenter, UNIFERTEX, which has the unique advantage of combining fermentation in a liquid medium, used by researchers and industrialists, with fermentation on a solid basis (nutritional agar, agricultural by-products, etc.). Liquid fermentation, which is the most common technology, is simpler to implement, but limits the production of certain recoverable compounds. Solid fermentation on nutrient agar is closer to conditions in natural habitats, but was only feasible on small areas. The partners brought the two processes together in a single equipment, coupled with a solid phase extraction technology (the molecules of interest are captured during cultivation by a specific resin), making the process economical in solvents and energy.
The new fermenter was developed as part of the European project Tascmar coordinated by the CNRS, which is developing tools and strategies to grow marine invertebrates and their associated symbiotes, from the mesophotic zone, in the hope of discovering new molecules of interest to fight age-related diseases and disorders.