Interesting new compounds have been isolated from marine sponges: e.g. cytotoxic compounds that may be used as anti-cancer drugs, antibiotics, anti-viral agents and compounds with anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular properties. Biotechnological production under well defined conditions of sponge biomass is a necessary step towards commercialization of these potentially interesting products. So far, no primary-cell suspension cultures showed growth. Sponge cells need cell-cell contact to proliferate. In order to obtain axenic sponge tissue cultures, sponges can be dissociated, cleaned from other organisms than the sponge cells and reaggregated. Primary cell cultures can be reaggregated to strong spherical aggregates, primmorphs. The goal is to develop a process for in vitro cultivation of marine sponges for the production of biological active compounds. Sponges will be grown as primmorphs in bioreactors. Optimisation of the growth of and isolation of bioactive components from these primmorphs is the main objective of the project. A process design (including the market analysis) will be made.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
60313 Frankfurt Am-main