Hamburg Cluster of Excellence

Fundamentals for synthetic biological systems (SynBio)

Project outline

Both biology and engineering are entering new areas owing to rapid advances in enabling technologies such as genome sequencing, functional genomics, computation, microfluidics, nanotechnology, systems and synthetic biology.

The cluster SynBio studies biological and technological fundamentals of synthetic biology as an emerging new field. In addition to better understanding natural bioprocesses synthetic biology particularly aims at generating efficient and interchangeable parts by molecular-biological and engineering tools or directly from natural biology by screening and assembling them into technologically artificial but useful biological systems. Synthetic biology has thus a high potential for applications such as targeted synthesis of biopharmaceuticals, sustainable chemical industry and energy generation, and production of smart (bio)materials. Parallels have been drawn between the design and manufacture of semiconductor chips in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the construction of standardized biological parts (also called biobricks) in synthetic biology. Whereas semiconductor and microelectronics have revolutionized ICTs, it is expected that synthetic biology in combination with microfluidics and nanotechnology has similar impacts for biotechnology and life sciences in the near future.

The structural and scientific objectives of SynBio are to establish an interdisciplinary and excellent research cluster in Hamburg with focus on studying fundamentals for developing novel synthetic biocatalytic pathways and systems with applications in biotechnology and life sciences.


Structure of the project SynBio: Expertise, tasks and interactions.

Höchste Effizienz mit neuartigen Bioprozessen (1,3 MB PDF).

SynBio project poster (3 MB PDF).


This Project is supported by LeXi and LeXi