Altar was co-founded in 2017 in a rebranding process of Heurisko, a company leader in the field of automated fluidics serving the industry for over 10 years.
Our team gathers seasoned and passioned scientists, engineers and technicians.
We develop and operate proprietary technologies that bring microbes to performance suitable for utilization in commercial applications. Our customers use microorganisms to produce food, feed, flavors & fragrances, cosmetics, fuels, chemicals or health products.
Our automated cultivation devices harness natural selection in Adaptive Laboratory Evolution (ALE) experiments for the development of robust microbial strains with enhanced performance.
ALE is a relevant method for the development of cells that cannot be engineered and must remain non-GM (non-genetically modified). It also has proven to significantly leverage metabolic engineering approach to strain development and to serve as enabling technology for synthetic biology.
Beyond the achievement of enhanced strains, ALE is used to study molecular evolution and adaptive changes in microbial populations over a long-term period of time and under specific growing conditions. With the recent breakthroughs in next-generation sequencing technologies and associated low-costs in sequencing, ALE is becoming more popular as a tool for biotechnology.
Critical requirements for following this approach include contamination-free, reliable and reproductive operation, whereas biofilms, which inevitably form in continuous culture, must be removed as they are escaping the selective pressure.
Our fluidic platform is fully automated and ensures 24/7 permanent proliferation of cell suspensions without contamination for indefinite periods of time through counter-selection of biofilms. Cultivation conditions and selective pressure are thoroughly controlled and automatically adjusted to the actual adaptation of the microbial population using proprietary algorithms.
Altar’s platform is suitable for the cultivation of suspensions of prokaryotic and eukaryotic unicellular organisms under aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
Proprietary algorithms enable a range of selective regimes that involve the control and adjustment of parameters such as chemical composition of sterile medium and bubbling gas, dilution rate, temperature and optical density.
Targeted phenotypes include increased growth rate, increased tolerance to a stressing medium, increased tolerance to higher temperatures, increased substrate uptake, adaptation to industrial feedstock and fermentation conditions.