An industrial two-chamber lyophilizer Freeze dryer EPSILON 2-65D (Martin Christ, Germany) was delivered to the VSU Science Park. German equipment is designed for the production of high-quality pharmaceutical and biotechnological preparations. Lyophilization – a gentle method of drying sensitive materials (protein preparations, bacterial cells, dairy products) is used during the operation of the machine. It allows the product to retain its original properties and does not impair the structure of proteins. The method is based on the sublimation process (transition of moisture from a solid to a gaseous state). The installation was transferred to Voronezh State University by the decision of the Commission for Management and Decommissioning of Federal Property and the order of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.
“The placement of such high-tech equipment in the Science Park of the Voronezh State University allows us to move to a new level of development and implementation of innovations, both in the region and in the central Chernozem region. Due to this, the university can become a regional platform for effective interaction between science and business in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, – said Sergey Antipov, director of the VSU Science Park, associate professor of the Department of Biophysics and Biotechnology of VSU.
The industrial lyophilizer has a built-in sterilisation and container washing system, an automatic filter check system, a pressure chamber, and the ability to control processes via the Siemens S7 system with LPCplus. The total shelf area of the lyophilizer can be up to 6m2, and the condenser capacitance is 65 kg, while this installation has a fairly compact size. The advantages of the installation include a simple and failure-free design, multifunctionality (steam defrosting, washing, sterilisation, drainage control, capping and long-term storage of products). The equipment complies with GMP and GOST R ISO 13408-3-2011 drug production standards.
According to Alexander Yazykov, the representative of the N-Collagen company, a pilot production facility has been created on the basis of the Voronezh State University Science Park. Now the organisation, together with the staff of the Department of Biophysics and Biotechnology of the Voronezh State University, is conducting research on obtaining collagen from the skins of hydrobionts.
“The presence of an industrial lyophilizer in the structure of the Science park will allow us to work out the technology for obtaining a natural product with a low moisture content and a long shelf life. This is an important milestone for the further commercialisation of this technology and an excellent example of the integration of university science and business,” said Alexander Yazykov.
The two-tier arrangement of the lyophilizer units is convenient for visual control. It is complemented by the ability to change the number of shelves in the chamber and the distance between them, which allows using different glassware during drying. Extensive features and menu functions, sectional programming of drying mode parameters make this lyophilizer a convenient tool. It helps to solve both research and practical problems in the freeze drying of a wide range of food, agricultural, veterinary, medical and pharmaceutical products.
“The development of innovative infrastructure is an integral part of the system of effective technology transfer, ensuring the connection between science and production, and, of course, one of the priority tasks of any modern university. The sectoral profilisation of the Science Park, which is being actively developed today, allow to consider VSU as a potential regional "centre of attraction" that contributes to the full launch of biotechnological, pharmaceutical and agro-food start-ups on the principle "from the laboratory bench to production." Also, meeting the needs of regional enterprises and resolving issues of import substitution should be kept in mind. They are urgent, especially in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. An equally important aspect is the educational component, since the formation of the Science Park infrastructure will allow students to be involved in the implementation of interdisciplinary practice-oriented studies and research. This can be especially effective for the development of the activities of the Student Research Society of VSU,” said VSU Rector, Professor Dmitry Endovitsky.