HAS Research Blog


Just showing posts with the tag technology

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

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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

Continuing high performance liquid chromatography research at UWE 

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Dr Morgane Fallas using the ultra-high performance chromatograph donated by Agilent TechnologiesDr Morgane Fallas has returned to Dr David McCalley’s research group to conduct further studies into high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), which could lead to faster and more efficient ways of analysing clinical and pharmaceutical samples. HPLC is a technique that separates out components of a mixture by passing them in liquid solution through a column of a medium to which the individual components are attracted to different extents. The technique has a number of applications such as identifying biomarkers of disease in body fluids, for quality control of ethical pharmaceuticals, to reveal the purity and identity of street drugs, or to show pesticide contamination of food and soil.

Dr Fallas completed a PhD at UWE in early 2010, looking particularly at the potential problems of separations of pharmaceuticals when carried out at much higher pressures than those normally employed in HPLC. Researchers have found previously that in general, the smaller the particles (and thus the higher pressure in the separation column), the better the results. However, the detailed effects of the use of very high pressures have not yet been explored. Morgane’s PhD studies involved working at the very extremes of this technique, with column particles around a thousandth of a millimetre in diameter that required pressures of up to one thousand atmospheres to force the liquid through. Her studies, reported in three major publications, showed that pharmaceutical separations could be seriously affected at these high pressures, leading to previously unreported reproducibility effects.

Now a continuation project, funded by Agilent Technologies, aims to extend this work using a new ultra-high pressure liquid chromatograph (UHPLC) donated by Agilent. The instrument is capable of even higher pressures in excess of 1200 atmospheres, and could potentially undertake pharmaceutical and clinical analyses up to 10 times faster than when using conventional HPLC techniques. Dr David McCalley explained, ‘The successful application of these new techniques, through a better understanding of their basic principles, is clearly of importance. Tens of thousands of HPLC analyses are carried out daily in the UK, both in the pharmaceutical industry (for example to test drug stability), and in hospital laboratories for routine monitoring of biomarkers for disease.’

Image above: Dr Morgane Fallas using the new ultra-high pressure liquid chromatograph donated to UWE by Agilent Technologies

For more information contact Dr David McCalley

Research image of the month #1: Cell membrane 

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The first in our monthly research image series is this striking picture that looks almost as though it could be the atmosphere of a distant planet. In fact it shows the inside of a cell membrane. The cell has been split apart by particle enhanced cell lysis, which involves energising paramagnetic particles (the round balls in the picture) with ultrasound energy and using them to break down cells to capture their contents.

This image is a result of UWE PhD research, which aims to develop particle enhanced cell lysis as a novel technology for rapid diagnosis.

Courtesy of the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology

From bytes to bites 

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As an initiative between, Bristol Institute of Technology (BIT) and the Centre for Research in Plant Science (CRIPS) a joint research focused workshop took place on 29th June 2010. The workshop From Bytes to Bites hosted by the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology (IBST) was aimed at addressing significant challenges of the present day including sustainable food security, sustainable energy production and the management of biodiversity. 

As expressed by the Director of CRIPS Dr. Neil Willey “Meeting these challenges is increasingly dependent on a combination of technology and plant science- BIT & CRIPS might find much productive interaction by focusing on such challenges.”

The aim of this workshop was to informally discuss research activity in BIT and CRIPS and to identify collaboration and project opportunities. The areas of input from BIT included modelling, data analysis/mining and instrument development.

The integration of the two sets of researchers was facilitated by creating interactive group work. This stimulated identification of the key ideas, challenges and the opportunities for the future collaboration.  Dr Janice Kiely, Director of the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology stated, “The workshop was successful, and we all look forward to see the exciting ideas turning into projects. As this definitely is a great example of bridging the gaps between the two diverse research areas”.

For more information contact Urszula Strzemiecka