An emerging technology in the field of biomanufacturing is the use of disposable or single-use bioreactors. Because these systems offer several advantages over traditional manufacturing platforms, there is an industry trend toward adopting this technology. The industry migration to this new technology is causing a training gap to form within the existing workforce and within biotechnology training curricula.
Solano Community College is creating curricular materials to address the single-use, disposable bioreactor gap in the national biotechnology curricula and expanding the biotechnology program at the college to incorporate this technology. The project is also developing short courses for students and incumbent workers and workshops for faculty. The project includes three components: curriculum development, implementation and evaluation, and dissemination. The expected outcomes for this project include: 1) an overall design of educational units that can be inserted into courses that utilize single-use cell culture technology; 2) detailed content, learning objectives, teaching materials and instruction activities for the new units; 3) implementation of the curriculum at the college and other institutions; 4) workshops to disseminate the curriculum; 5) development of a web site hosting the model curriculum and other information generated from this project; and 6) courseware containing the course materials for distribution.
Since this project is developing curricular materials that address an identified industry need that have not been included in two-year biotechnology programs, it has the potential to impact many two-year biotechnology programs across the country as the project creates exemplary materials that can be used by other programs to teach single-use bioreactor technology in order to meet industrial demand. The impact is being magnified through the dissemination by BioLink, a national biotechnology consortium that has created a community of scholars that encourages collaboration, cooperation, and communication in biotechnology. To facilitate information dissemination, workshops are being organized to train faculty who want to adopt this curriculum. The project will also contribute to the national effort to develop a technically skilled workforce for the national bio-economy.