SBIR Phase II: An Innovative Photobioreactor for Commercial Production of Astaxanthin from Genetically Improved Haematococcus Pluvialis Strains

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Winston Salem, NC 27101
Principal Investigator


This Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase II reserach develops an innovative biotechnology for commercial production of natural astaxanthin using genetically improved microalgal strain(s) grown in a proprietary large-scale photobioreactor, and to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new strains in improving bioavailability of astaxanthin. The proposed R&D efforts aim to overcome the major weakness inherent in the present production of astaxanthin-enriched Haematococcus: poor bioavailability of astaxanthin for humans and animals. The company will use several genetically modified Haematococcus strains with remarkably improved bioavailability of astaxanthin. The major objectives of the Phase II research are to design, construct, and evaluate an innovative large-scale photobioreactor system for sustainable mass culture of these new strains. The improved production system will increase astaxanthin productivity by 1.5- to 2-fold with at least 30% cost reduction. The broader impacts of this technology will be to overcome two major hurdles for the