n.BA.BT.ZB1Ze1.22HS (Cellular Biology 1 and Cell Culture Technology 1) 
Module: Cellular Biology 1 and Cell Culture Technology 1
This information was generated on: 29 February 2024
Cellular Biology 1 and Cell Culture Technology 1


Version: 1.0 start 01 August 2022


Study Programme Biotechnology
Regulations Applicable RPO, 29 January 2008, School of Life Sciences and Facility Management Academic Regulations, 15 Dec. 2009, Annex for the Bachelor of Biotechnology degree programme
Module Type  
X Compulsory Module    Elective Module    Optional Module
Planned Semester 3rd Semester
Module Coordinator Regine Eibl
Telephone / E-Mail +41 (0)58 934 57 13 / regine.eibl@zhaw.ch
Jack Rohrer
Entrance Requirements Natural Sciences Biology and Chemistry 1 module
Learning Outcomes and Competencies The course is composed of one part focusing on cell biology and one part focusing on cell culture technology.
In the cell biology part, students will be able to:
  • explain how asymmetry in biological membranes occurs and outline the basic structures of glycosylation of proteins (including the blood group system and its importance)
  • name the components/constituents of the extracellular matrix (ECM), describe the structure of the ECM and explain its functions
  • explain the basic principles of protein sorting using examples, determine the different transport pathways of proteins in the cell by analysing signal sequences
  • explain the individual steps of the signal transduction pathway of G protein coupled receptors and protein tyrosine kinase receptors;.
  • explain control mechanisms of the cell cycle with restriction points, checkpoints and feedback control
  • explain the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis and their functions and physiological significance
In the cell culture technology part, knowledge is gained on plant cell and tissue cultures as well as mammalian cells. Here, the students will learn:
  • about the structure of a cell culture laboratory as well as the most important equipment and routine working methods
  • how to derive the process requirements for plant cell and tissue cultures as well as mammalian cells based on biological and biochemical principles (pertaining to the cell). Furthermore, they will master prominent products that are produced with these
  • how to select suitable culture media and culture media types. Furthermore, the students will learn about the differences between serum-containing, serum-free, protein-free and chemically-defined culture media and the basic components contained in a cell culture medium for cultivating plant or mammalian cells
  • learn to establish important cell types and select the appropriate culture system/bioreactor for their cultivation: a distinction is made between cells growing in suspension and cells growing adherently.
  • learn about the differences which should be considered when developing products based on plant cells as well as tissue and mammalian cells for the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors, and formulate the resulting process requirements 
Module Content Cell biology focuses on understanding how mammalian cells behave individually and, in part, in composite systems (organs).
First of all, the basics of Biology 1 are expanded upon: important functions of the various cell membranes, the course of important synthesis and transport pathways, the functions of the extracellular matrix and the cell cycle. Building on this, complex mechanisms such as programmed cell death (apoptosis) are explained.

Block 1: Cell membrane and extracellular matrix (ECM)
  • Membrane lipids: function and structure
  • Structure of the cell membrane
  • Membrane proteins: classification and function
  • Glycocalyx
  • ECM: definition, function and most important components
Block 2: Protein targeting
  • Targeting: explanation of terms
  • Localising protein synthesis in the different organelles
  • Describing major metabolic pathways
Block 3: Cell cycle
  • Cell cycle: the temporal sequence in phases
  • Cell cycle determining substances
  • Restriction and checkpoints: definition and function
Block 4: Apoptosis
  • Apoptosis vs necrosis
  • Apoptosis pathways
  • Important compounds, their function in presence/absence
  • Apoptosis induction in vivo and in vitro
The lecture on the fundamentals of cell culture technology teaches the most important working techniques and the associated equipment for the establishment, characterisation and cultivation of plant cell and tissue cultures as well as mammalian cells. Those for the production of mammalian cell clones as well as pools that supply glycoproteins (substance molecular biology) are not covered in this lecture.

Block: Plant cell and tissue cultures
  • Products (secondary metabolites, recombinant proteins)
  • Metabolism and culture media
  • Establishment of callus cultures, suspension cultures, embryo cultures, root cultures (including hairy roots)
  • Basic laboratory techniques (passage, growth curve recording, susbtrate/metabolite and product detection, long-term storage)
  • Suitable bioreactors and process modes
  • Development of processes with plant cell and tissue cultures and the role of elicitation
  • Processes for the production of pharmaceutical products vs. processes for the production of products for the food and cosmetics industry
Block: Mammalian cells and their cultivation
  • Mammalian cell products and prominent cell lines
  • Metabolism (repetition) and culture media
  • Derivation of requirements for the cultivation process (differentiation into suspension as well as adherently growing cells, or finite and continuous cells and their characteristics)
  • Routine working techniques and culture systems/equipment (media preparation, cell banking, thawing and expanding cells, passaging cells, inoculum production)
  • Bioreactors and their instrumentation and process modes
Follow-up Modules Cell Biology 2, Cell Culture Technology 2
Methods of Instruction  Lectures and tasks to complete
Digital Resources Video resources
Lesson Structure / Workload  
 Contact Hours 20
 Guided Self-Study 8
 Independent Self-Study 32
 Total Workload 60
Classroom Attendance No
Written exam at the end of the semester 100%
If there is a low number of participants, the lecturer may change the form of a repeat examination after consultation with the head of the study programme: e.g. an oral examination can be used to replace a written one. Please report any changes to the form of examinations by e-mail to pruefungsadmin.lsfm@zhaw.ch and Cc. Head of study programme.
Language of Instruction  German
Comments The Cell Biology 1 and Cell Culture Technology 1 module is part of the Natural Sciences 3 module group.


Slides on "Grundlagen der Zellbiologie" and slides on the “Basics of Cell Culture Technology”
Alberts et al, Lehrbuch der Molekularen Zellbiologie, Wiley-VCH (ca. CHF 100.-)
ISBN: 978-3-527-32824-6
Lodish et al, Molecular Cell Biology, W.H. Freeman (ca. CHF 100.-)
ISBN: 9781429203142
Cooper and Hausman, The Cells: A Molecular Approach, ASM Press and Sinauer Associates (ca. CHF 100.-)
ISBN: 978-0763739058
Gstraunthaler und Lindl (2021) Zell- und Gewebekultur, 8. Auflage Springer Spektrum (ca. CHF 60.-)
ISBN: 978-3-662-62605-4
Schmitz (2020) Der Experimentator, 4. Auflage, Springer Spektrum (CHF 50. -)
ISBN: 978-3-662-58950-2
Neumann et al (2020) Plant cell and tissue culture – a tool in biotechnology, 2nd edition, Springer (ca. CHF 150.-)
ISBN: 978-3-540-93882-8
Park (2021) Plant tissue culture, techniques and experiments, 4th edition, Elsevier ($ 100.-)
ISBN: 978-0128211205


Course: Cellular Biology 1 and Cell Culture Technology 1
Cellular Biology 1 and Cell Culture Technology 1


  • No module description is available in the system for the cut-off date of 29 February 2024.