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Background: Boston Through The Boston University Bridge

Plant-Based Vaccine Production

Fraunhofer Life Sciences Engineering Group

Facility Overview with 3D Model Overlay
© 2009 Fraunhofer CMI.

Fully automated, high volume vaccine factory

  • Objective

    To produce pharmaceuticals, such as vaccines, in quantities large enough to meet global demand, one feasible approach is to cultivate transgenic and virus-infected plants. Consequently, we sought to develop this process by constructing a fully automated vaccine production facility. In adhering to modular design principles, we envisioned a flexible and easily configurable platform that would revolutionize biopharmaceutical production for a variety of drugs.

  • Methodology

    In close collaboration with biologists, we completed the engineering and assembly of the first pilot production module with a specific biomass capacity. By adopting a modular approach, the system can be customized for different biopharmaceutical agents, thus increasing its potential application. To reach this capability, many pieces of specialized equipment are required, and all necessary modules must be integrated and constructed. Finally, regulatory approval and certification by the federal government must also be obtained.

  • Results

    • Testing and refinement of all components for steps, such as seeding, infiltration, and harvesting
    • Optimization of nutrient supply, lighting, and temperature for efficient, controlled plant cultivation
    • Process engineering and technology transfer in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations



Portrait of Bill Mosolgo

Bill Mosolgo

Manager, Sales & Marketing

Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation


15 Saint Mary's Street
Brookline, MA 02446-8200

+1 617-353-1888
+1 617-353-1896