As quality of life constantly improves, the average lifespan will continue to increase. The bad news is that tissue degradation due to wear and tear in an aged body is inevitable and is different from person to person. Fortunately recent advances in science and technology have enabled us to work towards personalised medicine. This project, by an interdisciplinary team from four different UK Universities (Liverpool, Heriot Watt, Durham and Edinburgh) with distinct areas of expertise, aims to predict patient-specific tissue quality which is essential in devising treatments plans. While our primary concern in this study is the bone tissue, the developed framework will apply to other tissues having porous or complex microstructure.
The aim of the project is to develop integrated platform technology and an infrastructure for synthetic biology. Five British universities (Imperial College, Cambridge, Edinburgh, LSE/Kings and Newcastle), who are amongst the international leaders in synthetic biology, have formed a Consortium to address the issue. These universities already have very significant research programmes in synthetic biology (e.g. Imperial College has the EPSRC National Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation - CSynBI).
We propose to develop and implement a genetic platform for optimizing blends of enzymes for biomass processing applications, using computational modeling, combinatorial gene assembly, expression control and high-throughput screening of gene cassettes from a library of genes in modular format. In addition to providing optimal enzyme blends for any given application, analysis of the results will allow us to develop heuristics which will facilitate rational design of biomass processing systems in the future, and will lead to a deeper understanding of biomass degradation processes.
IMPACT is a 5-year, £5.2M research project, funded by an EPSRC Programme Grant, to develop new approaches to cancer treatment, using implanted, smart sensors on silicon, fabricated in the University's Scottish Microelectronics Centre. IMPACT will use miniaturised, wireless sensor chips the size of a grass seed to monitor the minute-to-minute status of an individual tumour. This will allow RT to be targeted in space and time to damage cancer cells as much as possible. The team consists of engineers, chemists, veterinary clinicians, social scientists and human cancer specialists, led by Prof Alan Murray from the University's School of Engineering.
Our goal is to test the feasibility of producing low molecular weight aromatic chemical feedstocks from the lignin that is currently a waste product from wood processing and paper manufacturing, so that it may be used to manufacture useful products. We propose to develop a "front-end" to optimise the conversion of lignin into its constitutive aromatic chemical building blocks. This technology may be bolted to any "back-end" in a biorefinery to produce bioplastics, biosurfactants, biomaterials and so on. By exploring and optimising a technology which allows for the rapid tuning of bacteria or fungi for exploiting the conversion of lignin, we stand to limit waste by being able to optimise the degradation products being used as chemical feedstocks and diversify the range of end-bioproducts possible.
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common degenerative joint disease affecting 12% of the over 60s symptomatically. In approximately 20% of cases this is isolated to the medial compartment of the knee and could be managed with unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR) rather than total knee replacement (TKR). However, the survivorship of UKRs is globally inferior to that of TKRs. Unexplained pain is the second commonest cause for revision of UKR, but this is not the case with TKRs. We hypothesised that elevated proximal tibial strain under medial UKR implants may be a cause of this unexplained pain. The aims of this study are therefore to determine the effect of medial UKR tibial component design on proximal tibial strain and pain.