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Upcoming Guest Seminar about Living Materials

During his research visit at TalTech, our partner from ALU Freiburg, Tobias Butelmann, will give a seminar (seminar room SCI-109 or online here) about living materials and the current project about Local Electron Delivery in Bioinks for Efficient Yeast Cell Factories. The seminar will be publicly available. Since this project is highly interdisciplinary, we invite all interested people to join this seminar!


Date: 06 August 2021, 11:00 – 12:00.



Abstract: The need for sustainable processes to produce value-added chemicals and materials displays a major challenge of our time. Engineered microbes have the proven power to solve these challenges, as more efficient processes are required in terms of the cell factory as well as the cultivation performance. Bioprocesses currently used in industry are primarily based on batch and fed-batch mode, where yields and productivities have peaked and require technological innovations to uplift this cap on productivities. Additive manufacturing technologies can provide opportunities to move beyond traditional processes and empower a new industrial revolution. 3D printing can be applied together with engineered microbes to print living materials with superior properties to common suspension cultures used in biorefineries. Those living materials consist of a bioink that encapsulates the host organism – a cell factory for the desired product.

One bottleneck in engineered microbes is the regeneration of co-factors, which are critical for their efficiency. To overcome this, special conductible bioinks for living materials can be designed that help embedded microbes by the delivery of electrons for co-factor regeneration. The successful implementation of such a platform has the potential to increase the efficiency of engineered microbes by multiples and, hence, create sustainable biorefinery processes.


This project of the Baltic-German University Liaison Office is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic Germany.


New manuscript on automated cell size measurement

The work of our former BSc student Aleksandr Illarianov was recently published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal, where he developed a machine learning algorithm for the analysis of optical microscopy images. The algorithm was applied for the analysis of more than 500 000 cells in a comparative study of conventional and non-conventional yeast stress responses.

Congrats to all the authors for their great work!


Link to the manuscript:

        SCImago Journal & Country Rank

3D printing project

Tobias Butelmann, a former member (2018-2019) of Petris’ group will be visiting us next August. The collaboration entitled Local Electron Delivery in Bioinks for Efficient Yeast Cell Factories will provide valuable knowledge and inputs for 3D printing project. This project of the Baltic-German University Liaison Office is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic Germany.


New projects started – Perfecoat and SAFE

We are excited to announce the start of two interdisciplinary international projects PERFECOAT – High performance bio-based Functional coatings for wood and decorative applications – with funding from Horizon2002 Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking; and SAFE – Sustainable Aquaculture Feed Based on Novel Biomass from Wood By-products, funded by NordForsk.


New publication is out now!

We have a new publication “Screening and growth characterization of non-conventional yeasts in a hemicellulosic hydrolysate” published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. Here we have characterized the consumption profiles and growth patterns of nine non-Saccharomyces yeast strains on an industrial hemicellulosic hydrolysate, provided by our partners from Graanul Biotech.


Congrats to all the authors Paola, Daria, Nemailla and Petri.


For full text, please click here.

Thesis graduations in 2021

Next Friday (4th of June) Alina Rekena will defend her Master’s degree at the University of Tartu. Alina carried out a large-scale study characterizing R. toruloides growth on different substrates and creating enzyme constrained genome-scale metabolic models. Her work will be a keystone to engineer carotenoid and lipid yields in R. toruloides. 



Daria defended her bachelor’s thesis “Characterisation of non-conventional yeast Kluyveromyces marxianus in lignocellulosic hydrolysate” on 31st of May with the highest grade.

New members at BioEng

From April 1st, we have two new members joining Food Tech and Bioengineering lab.

Srdjan Gavrilovic will be joining as a Research Scientist working on metabolic engineering and the development of synthetic biology tools.

Andreia Axelrud will join us as a Research Engineer while having a strong background in quality control and bioprocess optimization.


Welcome to our team!



TalTech Development Conference 2021

Tallinn University of Technology is setting sights for the future, and you have the opportunity to be a part of it. At the virtual conference of development, taking place on January 21st, 2021, researchers and experts of the university shared their visions on TalTech’s role in Estonia and the world, the future of education, and the contribution of science and universities to solving global challenges. Prof. Petri-Jaan Lahtvee shared his opinion on the development of the circular economy and how TalTech can play a role there.


Link to the event – link.

The recording of the conference can be found here.


Food Tech and Bioengineering lab has started at TalTech

Food Tech and Bioengineering lab started at TalTech in January 2021.

The group is led by Prof. Petri-Jaan Lahtvee and the Team has expertise in bioinformatics, metabolic engineering, bioprocess optimization as well as in 3D printing of living materials.

Our goal is to address global challenges of biosustainability, including sustainable production of food and feed, but also biochemicals and materials

Happy to start new collaborations at TalTech.


Photo credit: Raul Mee