Biotechnology and Industrial Chemistry

One Eighty introduces our new Biotechnology and Industrial Chemistry Service. But what exactly is Biotechnology? We share some insights.

What is Biotechnology?

– a simple question with a not-so-simple answer.

Incorporating elements of microbiology, genetics, biochemistry and ecology, biotechnology is the use of biological systems for industrial or technological applications. Biotechnology has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence from the turn of the 20th century, as modern demands for pharmaceutical, medical, and food technology advancements have escalated. Currently, biotechnology is the fastest growing scientific discipline, leading the globe in manifesting and realising innovations that were once considered science fiction.

Despite this “state-of-the-art” appearance, biotechnology is rooted in far more humble beginnings. Biotechnology has been utilised (knowingly or unknowingly) since the dawn of recorded history. Baking bread is the simple exploitation of yeasts releasing CO2 via their processes of metabolising simple sugars. The creation of cheese hinges upon the culturing of dairy using certain bacteria that secrete lactose-degrading enzymes. Similarly, winemaking and beer brewing follow in the footsteps of baking, with the fermentative production of alcohol by yeasts in the presence of sugars. Humans have unwittingly spent a very long time operating as expert biotechnologists, exploiting natural mechanisms that are found ubiquitously and quietly operating in the background.

In 2021, the game has evolved, but the playing field remains the same. Beer brewing, winemaking, baking, and cheese production continue in much the same vein – with some tweaks and innovations over time. On the high-end of the scale – biotechnologists are responsible for the production of recombinant proteins, vaccines, advances in genetic therapeutics, and prosthetics (to name only a few).

An application of biotechnology exists in the realm of engineering where engineered materials and biological matter intersect. Packaged food, food production machinery, and medical devices (such as implants) are examples of where biological matter and engineered materials function in a shared space. Within this shared space exists the very high probability of failures, non-conformances, and non-compliance. Biological matter and systems are predictable in both structure and function but become unpredictable when paired with non-organic materials. Within this unpredictability, One-Eighty Materials Testing seeks to find answers in the unknown.

To serve our clients in the food & beverage, medical device, and food packaging industries, One-Eighty is proud to launch our newly created Biotechnology and Industrial Chemistry service. A team of dedicated biotechnologists, materials scientists, and chemists tasked with investigating cases where biological matter and engineered materials meet. Our vertical is at your disposal, ready to assist at all project phases, from R&D to failures within finished products.

Contact us at info@one-eighty-degrees.com for more information and stay tuned for more updates and case studies.