HAS Research Blog

cancel

Just showing posts from August 2012

Bio-Sensing Technology Series: Microbial detection and biocontrol 

Posted by Denise Hope | 0 comments
29Aug2012
Welcome to the third article in our Bio-Sensing Technology series, looking at microbial detection and biocontrol. This technology is led by Dr Darren Reynolds and we ask him to tell us a bit more about his research.

So what is microbial detection and biocontrol? What are the benefits and applications?
Microbial Detection and Biocontrol methods can be developed to ensure effective safeguarding of human health within environmental, healthcare and agri-food processes. Microbial detection and biocontrol technology platforms have been developed for a range of industrial and biomedical applications in collaboration with academia, business and enterprise.

Applied microbiological modelling and bio-photonics techniques (including low-light imaging, hyperspectral imaging and spectro-fluorometry) are used for the quantitative analysis and spectroscopic interrogation of biological processes.

Can you give us some examples of projects where the paramagnetic particle-based detection system has been used?

Electrochemically activated solutions (ECAS)
Due to the limitations associated with the use of existing biocidal agents, there is a need to explore new methods of decontamination to help maintain effective bioburden control, especially within the healthcare environment. ECAS have been shown to have broad spectrum antimicrobial activity and have the potential to be widely adopted due to low cost raw material requirements, ease of production and biocompatibility. The institute has expertise in the development and deployment of these novel biocides, including research undertaken in biodefence, biocontrol and food quality and safety.

Water quality sensors
In collaboration with industry, cutting edge deployable optical sensors for water quality monitoring based on fluorescence spectroscopy are being developed. These sensors can be deployed and left in situ for extended periods enabling online real-time water quality monitoring.

Bacteriophage (viruses that infect bacteria)
Bacteriophages are perhaps the most predominant biological entities in the biosphere and have great potential as antimicrobial agents within clinical and industrial settings. Real-time detection technologies based on bioluminescent bacterial reporters are utilised to screen for and determine the efficacy of, newly discovered bacteriophages for use within clinical, food safety and agricultural applications.

Non-thermal plasma
Non-thermal plasma is generated by electric discharge excitation producing a neutral ionised gas. This novel technology has known antimicrobial properties and is being evaluated in collaboration with industrial partners for various decontamination applications.

Lead researchers: Dr Darren Reynolds, University of the West of England

For more information about Microbial Detection and Biocontrol, please visit the Centre for Research in Biosciences website.

Teenagers with conditions that affect their appearance wanted to test new support programme 

Posted by Denise Hope | 0 comments
16Aug2012
The Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at UWE Bristol is looking to recruit young people aged 13 – 18 to test out a new support programme for those with a condition that affects their appearance.

CAR has teamed up with the charities Changing Faces, the British Skin Foundation, the Ichthyosis Support Group and the Vocational Training Charitable Trust to develop YP Face IT, an innovative online support programme for teenagers with worries about skin conditions, hair loss or scarring.

Catrin Griffiths, who helped design YP Face IT, said, “The aim of the programme is to teach skills to young people who have concerns due to altered appearance so that they can feel and act more confidently.”

The specially-developed programme uses techniques such as cognitive behavioural therapy, social skills training and interactive activities, videos, illustrations and avatars. The researchers are looking to recruit 20 teenagers to test out the new programme, which involves taking part in one hour long session per week for 7 weeks, at home on their own computer.

If you would like to find out more about this project, please contact catrin.griffiths@uwe.ac.uk

New Issue of ESP KTN Guide to UK Academic Research Activity in Biosensors and Biosensing now available 

Posted by Denise Hope | 1 comment
10Aug2012
Electronics, Sensors, Photonics KTNCheck out the UWE entry in the latest ESP KTN’s Guide to UK Academic Research Activity in Biosensors and Biosensing.  This guide provides information on UK academic groups active in biosensors and biosensing research. Its purpose is to help organisations (academic and industrial) looking for academic groups with particular expertise in the biosensor/biosensing field more easily identify such groups to help facilitate activities such as finding partners for collaborative R&D projects and identifying exploitable technologies.

The guide has just been updated from Issue 2 (June 2010) to Issue 3 (August 2012). It contains 78 pages of information on key contacts, research capabilities and current research projects in the area of biosensors and biosensing from 57 UK research groups (increased from 45 groups in Issue 2).

Click here to find out more or download the guide.
tags: none

Learning to sniff bad breath can help diagnose oral disease 

Posted by Denise Hope | 1 comment
03Aug2012
An unusual course is being run at UWE Bristol for health professionals who want to help patients with bad breath. According to the microbiologists running the course, bad breath - or oral malodour - is the third most common reason for people to visit their dentists. However dentists are not trained to distinguish the causes of oral malodour using their sense of smell.

Professor John Greenman runs the course with Dr Saliha Saad who is a trained oral malodour judge. They point out that smells on the breath come from either microbes or the metabolism of the body. In 80% of cases, bad breath is due to microbes in the mouth, and not to conditions elsewhere in the body. Oral malodour could be caused by microbes on the tongue, inflammation of the gums or tooth decay. These conditions give off specific smells which a trained 'nose' can detect, differentiate and then treat appropriately.

The course is aimed at doctors, dentists, hygienists, nurses and technicians and will train participants to recognise and identify the main groups of malodour compounds that occur on breath of individuals.

John and Saliha's work on microbes and their odours has other health applications for example in dealing with infected wounds.

The next UWE oral malodour course starts on 3 September - participants come from all over the world including the USA, the Middle-East and Europe and include academics as well as medical and dental professionals.

For further information read the full press release here.