Biotechnology


MISSION

MAScIR’s Biotechnology Center combines world class scientific expertise with state-of-the-art research laboratories to deliver innovative and cost effective solutions in order to address market demand and social needs in Morocco and its region.

The Medical biotechnology team is mainly focused on developing innovative medical diagnostic kits targeting prevalent diseases in Morocco such as cancer and infectious diseases. The team is also interested in co-developing biogeneric prototypes in collaboration with industrial partners.

The Green Biotechnology team is focused on projects in the area of plant applied research including exploitation, improvement and new technologies. The principle areas of research are:
  • Bioenergy based on microalgae
  • Crop Breeding
  • Microbial Biotechnology applied to agricultural development and food

 
CAPABILITIES
  • Testing of a multitude of human diseases using market preexisting diagnostic kits
  • Drug screening: design, execution, and validation of in-vitro screening for drugs developed for humans and plants
  • Monoclonal Antibody production using the most efficient methods tissue culture, purification, and quality testing
  • Improvement of the quantity and quality of selective crops: increased production, development of resistant varieties to biotic and abiotic stress
  • Cloning and expression of targeted genes in different cell system
  • Engineering secondary metabolism to produce desired molecules
  • Development of new generation of BioFertilizers : non-chemical, crop  adapted, and environmental friendly
  • Production of specific molecules such as enzymes using adapted microbiological and culture systems
  • Development of renewable energy source using biological raw materials

 
EQUIPMENT & FACILITIES

IMMUNOLOGY FACILITY
  • Flow Cytometry: provides an effective cell analysis and sorting platform using multicolor conjugated proteins.
  • Bead based Flow Cytometry: allows for a fast and sensitive measurements of proteins in the research areas of Cell Biology, Immunology, and Proteomics. It uses 96 well plate format to process multiple conditions in one sample using small volumes.
  • Elisa: the platform consists of key equipment needed to run Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay such as a microtiter plate reader and automatic plate washer.

GENOMICS FACILITY
  • RT-PCR : this real time Polymerase Chain Reaction platform is used in gene expression analysis and quantification allows for a superior and maximum dye versatility, and enhanced sensitivity with a run time of less than 2 hours.
  • Classical PCR: 96-well Thermal Cycler of proven reliability
  • Bioanalyzer: Microfluidics based system that allows for DNA, RNA, and proteins analysis
  • Nanodrop: allows for direct measurements of DNA, RNA, and protein concentration and purity in seconds
  • Spectrophotometer: UV/Visible for quantification of purified proteins, DNA, RNA, and determination of cell density.

CELL CULTURE FACILITY
  • Laminar Flow hoods: ample capacity
  • CO2 Incubators
  • Microscopy: optical, inverted, and fluorescent
  • Roller Bottles: method of proven record in producing proteins such Monoclonal Antibodies in small to medium size quantities of desired specific molecules.
  • Bioreactors: method of choice for producing specific proteins in medium to large quantities that allows for effective control of growth parameters and higher concentrations of desired product. This method allows also for an easier downstream processing in purification given that supernatant produced is of higher concentration than other methods of culture.
  • Custom made plant culturing system: allows for a controlled environment to grow plant cells

CHEMISTRY FACILITY
  • HPLC
  • Gas chromatography: coupled with Mass Spec that will allow the analysis and structure determination of different compounds
  • Extraction system: Soxhlet and Rotavapor systems that serve to extract, remove solvents, and obtain a target purified  extract

OTHER FACILITIES
  • Water system: capability to produce De-ionized and Ultra pure grade water
  • Sterilization and glass wash: equipped with wet and dry autoclaves and laboratory grade washer
  • Biohazard and chemical hygiene: established services for collection of generated wastes

 
SERVICES
  • Phenotyping of desired samples, human and plant,  using flow cytometry
  • Quantifying desired multiplex of proteins using Bead based flow cytometry
  • Detection & quantification of selective genes using RT-PCR
  • Production of targeted monoclonal antibodies
  • In vitro screening of specific molecules in targeted assays (human, plant, and micro-organisms)
  • Development of adapted cell culture systems to produce specific molecules
  • Detection and quantification of desired proteins
  • Genetic transformation of plants and microorganisms
  • Cloning of desired genes in specific vectors
  • Diagnostics of certain human diseases
  • Diagnostics of plant diseases
  • Screening, control, and selection of plants and microbial mutants