Cellular and Bioreaction Engineering


The mission of our group is to generate knowledge, new applications, and developments in the area of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Biomedicine by combining biological and engineering concepts.

Our main research lines are (a) Biopharmaceutical Biotechnology: Production of biopharmaceuticals and recombinant vaccines; (b) Micro- and nanotechnologies for the diagnostic of infectious diseases; (c) Tissue Engineering and stem cell culture; and (d) Engineered biomaterials for biopharmaceutical and biomedical applications.

We use reactions mediated by cells and their components (e.g. enzymes and nucleic acids) to generate high-added-value products and applications. To achieve this purpose effectively, we usually have to engineer the cells and their functions; we use genetic engineering to modify or add new genes to a cell to confer new functions. For example, we engineer bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cells to produce recombinant proteins to diagnose, prevent, or treat global infectious or chronic diseases such as influenza,Ebola, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. We also design diagnostic chips to quickly and specifically identify bacteria, virus, or antibodies to tell us whether a person has been exposed to a specific pathogen.

Recently, we entered into the area of biomaterials and tissue engineering. Here we combine concepts of material sciences and technology, microfluidics, genomics, and cell culture in micro-and mini-devices into biomedical applications that could save lives. For instance, we are developing platforms to culture stem cells for tissue repair. We also culture cancer stem cells in continuous-flow microchips to better understand how a tumor grows and how to diagnose or treat a specific type of cancer. For all these applications, we must design and engineer not only the cells but also the systems and environments where we culture them. That is, we also do bioreactor design and engineering.


Mario Moisés Alvarez (SNI Member - Level III)

Core researchers

Silvia Lorena Montes Fonseca

Adjunct researchers

Martín Mauricio Virgilio Hernández Torre
María del Refugio Rocha Pizaña


External researchers

Ali Khademhosseini (Harvard/MIT Health Sciences)
Ernesto Di Maio  (Universitá Federico II)
Nasim Annabi  (Harvard)   

Doctoral students

Alan Roberto Márquez Ipiña
Luis Mario Rodríguez Martínez
Sandra Ozuna Chacón

Trujillo-de Santiago G, Portales-Cabrera CG, Portillo-Lara R, Araiz-Hernández D, Del Barone MC, García-López E, Rojas-de Gante C, De Santiago-Miramontes MdA, Segoviano-Ramírez JC, García-Lara S, Rodríguez-González CA, Alvarez MM, Di Maio E, Iannace S. Supercritical CO2 foaming of thermoplastic materials derived from maize: proof-ofconcept use in mammalian cell culture applications. PLoS One. In Press. (2015).
Trujillo-de Santiago G, Rojas-de Gante C, García-Lara S, Ballescá-Estrada A, Alvarez MM. Studying Mixing in Non-Newtonian Blue Maize Flour Suspensions Using Color Analysis. PLoS One 9(11): e112954.(2014).
Genel-Rey T, Carrillo-Cocom LM, Araíz-Hernández D, López-Pacheco F, López-Meza J, Rocha-Pizaña MR, Ramírez-Medrano A, and Alvarez MM. Comparisson of amino acid consumption in naïve and recombinant CHO cell cultures producers of a monoclonal antibody. Cytotechnology, 1-12. (2014).
Garza-García LD, García-López E, Camacho-León S, Rocha-Pizaña M del R, Araiz-Hernández D, López-Pacheco F, López-Meza J, Tapia-Mejía EJ, Trujillo-de Santiago G, Rodríguez-González CA, and Alvarez MM. Continuous flow micro-bioreactors for the production of biopharmaceuticals: effect of geometry, surface texture, and flow rate. Lab on a Chip 14 (7): 1320-1329. (2014).