HAS Research Blog

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.
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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.

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.

Bristol Microbiology Forum 

Posted by Denise Hope | 1 comment
11Jul2012
Bristol Microbiology Forum

Around 60 delegates attended the Bristol Microbiology Forum from UWE, Bristol University and the University of Bath for an exciting and diverse selection of talks, highlighting some of the microbiology research currently being undertaken in each University.

The event was sponsored by the South West Biomedical iNet and UWE's Centre for Research in Biomedicine and provided both young and established researchers with a forum to present and discuss science.

Research highlights included batteries that are powered by bacteria fed with biological waste, deriving fungal medicines by understanding biochemical pathways, and public engagement in science (check out the online journal club for new students <http://microtwjc.wordpress.com>).

For further information contact Dr Victoria Davenport.

Professor Julie Kent launches new book: Regenerating Bodies 

Posted by Denise Hope | 1 comment
23May2012

Professor Julie KentCongratulations to Professor Julie Kent who has launched her new book which draws together the findings of ten years social research in the emerging area of regenerative medicine.

This exciting book examines how human tissues and cells are being exchanged, commodified and commercialized by new health technologies. Through a discussion of emergent global ‘tissue economies’ Julie explores the social dynamics of innovation in the fields of tissue engineering and stem cell science. The book explores how regenerative medicine configures and conceptualizes bodies and argues that the development of regenerative medicine is a feminist issue.

Regenerating BodiesThe book considers the claims that regenerative medicine represents exciting possibilities for treating the diseases of ageing bodies, critically assessing what kind of futures are embodied in tissue and cell based therapies. It will be of interest to a wide range of scholars and students within the social sciences, in health technology studies, bioethics, feminist studies, and gender and health studies.

For further information go to the book page on the publisher's website or contact Professor Julie Kent.