Welcome to the Laboratory of Interfacial & Molecular Biotechnology (LIMB) in the Department of Biochemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University. The LIMB was founded in 1991, and has developed rapidly since 1996 by the financial support from the ¡®211¡¯ Project of the Ministry of Education of China (MOE). Matching towards the development of biomolecular engineering in the 21st century, the laboratory has been extensively supported by the ¡®985¡¯ Project and the Changjiang Scholarship Program of MOE. By these financial supports, the LIMB is extended to 800 m2 of laboratory space and well furnished with modern facilities for R&D in the interfacial and molecular biotechnology.
The research work of the laboratory is multidisciplinary, involving biochemical engineering, biochemistry, molecular biology, surface and polymer chemistry, and protein science. Current research in the LIMB focuses on the following aspects. First of all, bioseparations engineering is its main and traditional research area. The research subjects in the area include chromatography of biological macromolecules, affinity purification technology, rational design of affinity ligands and protein-ligand interactions, electrochromatography, protein adsorption equilibrium and mass transport kinetics, reverse micelles, and purification of proteins and plasmid DNA. The second area is concerned with in vitro protein refolding and applications to the production of therapeutic proteins. In this subgroup, we are working on the kinetic mechanism of protein folding, development of in vitro protein refolding enhancers and their mechanisms, protein refolding in the presence of folding enhancers and refolding chromatography. The third research area is related to protein aggregation and stabilization. Inhibition of protein aggregation that is related to some diseases (e.g., Alzheimer's) is an important ongoing subject. Moreover, the molecular mechanism of protein stabilization by small molecules has drawn the interest of this subgroup. The research work in the LIMB is carried out by experimental studies and molecular simulations to explore the fundamentals in different scales of both time and space.
The LIMB is now staffed with six faculties, including four professors, one associate professor and one lecturer. In addition, each year more than 30 researchers work in the lab, including postdoctoral research fellows, Ph.D. and M.Sc. students and year-four undergraduate students. The researchers come from various disciplines, such as biochemical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, and biochemistry.