About the Institute for Bioengineering

The Institute for Bioengineering is a vibrant and varied group whose interests include modelling, biosensing, biomedical signals and biomedical applications of engineering technology.

Bioengineering is a highly interdisciplinary research area that forges connections between Engineering, Physical Sciences, Biology and Medicine. The aim is to research and develop innovative diagnostic, therapeutic and real-time monitoring biomedical devices and technologies.

The main research initiatives in Bioengineering can be split into three key areas:

  • Medical diagnostics and biosensing
  • Assistive technologies for stem cell medicine
  • Synthetic biology and industrial biotechnology

Our internationally leading research on medical diagnostics & biosensing has resulted in a rich vein of technology development in both medical diagnosis and environmental biosensing. Notable achievements include the first ex vivo and in vivo probing of the mechanical characteristics of prostate cancer for monitoring disease progression, a project funded by EPSRC in collaboration with clinicians from Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

High-resolution, dynamic ultrasonic imaging of invasive liver tumours has been achieved using micro-bubble perfusion.

Novel medical biosensors and lab-on-a-chip devices are being developed in the isolation and detection of rare foetal/tumour cells in blood and cancer biomarkers. We have produced environmental biosensors for ultrasensitive detection of water-borne pathogens such as cryptosporidium at 1spore/ml.

We are also actively pursing the emerging area of Synthetic Biology and Industrial Biotechnology. This, for example, includes a Scottish Enterprise funded project on developing automated microfluidic handling system for genome segment assembly in collaboration with a leading synthetic biology company-GinkoBioworks in Boston.

Research Themes

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