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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.

Bio-Sensing Technology Series: Paramagnetic particle-based detection system 

Posted by Denise Hope | 5 comments
18Jul2012
Welcome to the second article in our Bio-Sensing Technology series, looking at a paramagnetic particle-based detection system. This technology is led by Professor Richard Luxton and Profesor Janice Kiely, directors of the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology (IBST), and we ask them to tell us a bit more about their research.

So what is a paramagnetic particle-based detection system?
The paramagnetic particle-based detection system uses paramagnetic particles (PMPs) to detect biological interactions between two complementary binding partners such as antibodies and antigens (analytes) in an immunoassay.

This is a biosensor that can provide measurement of analyte concentration within a test sample in just few minutes. In this system, the test samples and PMP labels are added to a reaction vessel in the biosensor and are attracted to a reaction surface at the base of the vessel, using a magnet where specific binding takes place. Unlike other immunoassay systems no extra washing or processing procedures are required. The bound particles, and associated antigen are detected using a coil under the surface of the biosensor.

What are the benefits?
The use of paramagnetic particles as a label in an immunoassay has resulted in the development of a rapid and highly sensitive biosensing device. Substances in the part-per-trillion concentration range have been measured. The novel instrumentation is inexpensive and can be powered by standard, small batteries to be used as a handheld system for field testing.

What are the applications of the paramagnetic particle-based detection system?
This is a platform technology and has a wide range of applications in areas such as point of care diagnostics, environmental testing, bio-security and food quality.

Can you give us some examples of projects where the paramagnetic particle-based detection system has been used?
A number of projects have been funded to develop the technology for different applications to meet specific needs for companies. For example:

Diagnostic markers: Includes a range of projects to detect biomarkers of disease such as cardiac or cancer markers. There is also a project for the raid detection of bacteria such as clostridium difficile.

Environmental testing: Government funded projects, for explosive residue in the environment enable a highly sensitive and rapid assay to be developed. 

Food safety and quality: A number of projects in this sector have focused on the rapid detection of bacteria in food materials.

Lead researchers: Professor Richard Luxton and Profesor Janice Kiely

For more information about the paramagnetic particle-based detection system, please visit the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology website.

Breast Cancer - United Care conference 

Posted by Denise Hope | 1 comment
10May2012

The Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology together with the University of the West of England are organising a one day conference exploring issues around Breast Cancer. The conference is being held at the UWE Conference and Exhibition Centre and aims to provide an update on a range of issues that influence the management of women with breast cancer.

All those with an interest in this field: patients, relatives, nurses, researchers, health care professionals to include clinical and biomedical scientists, surgeons, oncologists and general practitioners will find this conference useful.

The speakers are international experts in their respective areas and between them will touch on topics such as:

  • the influence of diet on metabolic pathways and cancer
  • the latest developments in biomedical research
  • surgery and therapies
  • new developments in service delivery
  • follow-up support and survivorship
  • an international perspective

The programme for the day is designed to meet continuing professional development needs for professional attendees (CPD credits will be available for participants), but also to provide an opportunity for women with breast cancer and their supporters to hear about current developments from both local and international experts from the academic world and from clinical practice.

This event is supported by the Microelectronics iNet, which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Click here to find out more and to register for the event

Men and Cancer conference 

Posted by Kathleen Steeden | 0 comments
05May2011
Men and Cancer conference flyerThe Institute of Bio-Sensing Tcehnology are organising a one day conference exploring issues around Men and Cancer. The conference is being held at the UWE Conference and Exhibition Centre and will look at new developments in the research, diagnosis, treatment and care of men with cancer. There will be talks from experts on:
  • Diet and prostate cancer
  • Men and inequalities in cancer
  • Early diagnosis
  • Clinical developments
  • Current treatments and initiatives
  • Prostate cancer in Asia.

The conference is open to the public and healthcare professionals.

Click here to find out more and to register for the event

UK/China workshop: Innovative Technologies for the Food Industry, 21 - 22 July 

Posted by Kathleen Steeden | 0 comments
09Mar2011

Wheat

UWE is hosting a 2-day workshop on Innovative Technologies for the Food Industry organised by the Centre for Research in Biosciences, the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the China Agricultural University.

As  part of a BBSRC China partnering award, this workshop aims to bring together the UK and Chinese academia, industry, policymakers and other stakeholders in order to combine effort in addressing important issues of development, evaluation and taking to international market novel and rapid technologies for the food industry. Particular emphasis will be placed on cost-effective technologies for the detection of environmental pollutants in animal feed and animal-derived food.

The workshop will include presentations, poster sessions, industry exhibition and group discussions. There will be opportunity for networking, developing project ideas, exploring funding opportunities and discussing long-term collaboration between UK and Chinese academia and industry.

Click here for more information and to register